By Gretchen Teske, Mt. Pleasant News
WAYLAND ? The City of Wayland may be balmy right now, but the council is thinking freezing temperatures as they discussed sewer updates and a pilot project with Iowa Department of Natural Resources aimed at reducing ammonia levels.
The town is currently trying out a pilot project to reduce ammonia levels in the water in order to be in compliance with new DNR regulations as it updates its sewer project. ?Over the years they have been working systematically through cities (by) redoing their permits for different levels they have to meet,? said City Clerk Bev Conrad. ?We have to put together a facility plan on what were going to need changed to do a project at the sewer lagoon in order to meet those limits.?
A pilot project has been put in place to try and meet those standards. The major problem Wayland faces is rising ammonia levels in the winter. When the lagoon freezes then thaws, the levels rise. The project includes a plan to release enzymes and aeration into the water in an effort to reduce. Theoretically, the enzymes and aeration will work together to reduce the amount of gas in the lagoon and lower ammonia levels as well.
The results were sent to the DNR on Monday, July 2, and the council is waiting to hear the results. Conrad says if this works and is approved, it will be the most feasible and economic way to meet the new standards put in place. The city was given five years to complete the project and have been working on it since May of 2017.
With this new plan is the possibility of changing the lagoon to a controlled discharge. Under the continuous discharge system they have now, the waste is put into a holding pond until it receives treatment then is released. With a controlled discharge, the waste will only be released once every six months which will help prevent freezing and thawing from occurring.
While they wait for an update, the council discussed purchasing a new pump for the water treatment plant. The current pump has been known to break down, parts have been lost in the process and over $7,000 in repairs have been done to it. The ballpark estimate for a new one is under $2,000 which the council agreed was a smart purchase. ?That?s kind of a no brainer, you might as well have one,? said council member Chet Fort. ?If you?ve got two of everything else you might as well.?
If the council chooses to purchase a second pump, it will be installed while the existing one is being worked on. It will then remain in storage until needed. The city engineer will provide bids at the next meeting.
The next meeting of the Wayland City Council will be Wednesday, July 18, at 7:30 p.m.