The City of Alta will need to update its sewer plant to meet new effluent limits established by the Department of Natural Resources. The cost of the plant is expected to be $3.9 million.
Engineer Neal Kuehl appeared before the City Council recently to discuss options for the city regarding its need to update the sewer plant. He noted that the present facility was built in the 1950s and he feels it has outlived its useful life. He said there are three options available to the city: update the present facility, build an activated sludge treatment plant, or install a covered aerated lagoon. Improvements would not be any cheaper and with the facility so old, it may be difficult to locate needed parts. Kuehl suggested that constructing a plant would be in the best interest of the city.
Grants are available to help with the costs.
A Community Development Block Grant application for federal funds in the amount of $500,000 to the Iowa Department of Economic Development will be completed. The application deadline is Nov. 14. The additional costs of $3.4 million could be paid for with a loan in the amount of $3,429,696 from the State of Iowa Clean Water State Revolving Fund.
The need for making improvements to the City's wastewater treatment system was identified by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the New Water Quality Standard and the City Council of Alta. The current wastewater treatment system is a trickling filter treatment system, which was constructed in 1950 and has been upgraded several times. Recent changes to the water quality standards have prompted the need to look at the treatment efficiency of the existing system and to determine the need to upgrade to meet the new standards.
The existing treatment system in unable to meet the new water quality standards for ammonia, nitrogen and E. coli. The new water quality standards require that ammonia nitrogen in the treated effluent discharged be lowered to between 1.2 mg/I (August) and 6.0 mg/I (February). This is possible in the summer, but difficult in the winter. In addition Org.1100 ml. Typical effluent is 30,000- 40,000 Org.1100 ml. Removal to this level will require disinfection of the treated effluent.
The proposed activated sludge system- the Aer-O-Mod system which utilizes concrete tanks and air lift pumps to control the system - would add an equalization basin to attenuate peak flows to keep the capacity of the new plant to within reason. It would also use ultraviolet disinfection to reduce E. coli during the summer months.
It is anticipated no land would need to be purchased for the proposed activity. The location of the proposed project would be within the City of Alta and on the same property as the existing trickling filter treatment system.
Many other cities in Iowa have been tagged as needing improvements made to their sewer systems as well.
Engineer Bob Payer appeared before the council to discuss the progress at the new housing addition. Completion of the project exceeded the contract deadline by 17 days, resulting in a deduction of $5,100 at $300 per day. A representative of the general contractor and a sub-contractor were present and they stated that rainy weather caused delays, resulting in substantial completion on Oct. 10. Mayor French commented that although crews worked hard and long days, during the month of September there was no activity, although there were no weather related delays. The contract has not been completed due to the fact that seeding didn't get done and that will now have to be done in the spring. Payer said that the seeding could be rewritten in a supplemental contract for spring and the project could then be closed out and accepted.
The city's winter parking ban to be in effect Nov. 15, with warning tickets written for two weeks.
The council considered the replacement of the community building roof. Mayor French told the council that a steel rib roof with screws exposed costs approximately $1 per square foot. Standing seam steel roof costs are estimated to be $2 per square foot. Work specifications for the project will be put together by the mayor and he will have several contractors review them for accuracy. The council agreed to install a steel rib roof on the building.
In other business, the council approved:
* the election of Kevin Marshall to the Alta Fire Department
* a reduction in the rental fee for the Alta FFA for a pancake feed at the community building on Nov. 16
* accepted a resignation from Mike Norris who has served for the past several years with the park board. He and his wife have moved out of the community. Norris' accomplishments during his tenure were noted. The Mayor will contact two residents who have expressed an interest in filling the park board seat.