The Le Mars city council in Iowa, US, has decided to build a new facility to expand the city's wastewater treatment capability, and to treat wastewater from Wells Enterprises and Dean Foods.
Under the plan, the existing wastewater plant on the city's north side will receive wastewater from Wells South ice cream plant on 18th Street Southwest and Dean Foods milk plant on 12th Street Southwest.
The new industrial treatment facility, estimated at $16m-$20m, will be built on 120 acres of land that the city owns, located two miles west of Le Mars.
The facility is proposed to come up at a location next to a 6 million gallon lagoon that can store sludge or biosolids, a by-product of waste treatment.
According to a preliminary project from engineering and surveying firm Bolton and Menk, the new facility is expected to begin operation in December 2013.
Bolton and Menk consultant Greg Sindt said the existing facility will treat some of the wastewater to fully utilise its capacity, while the new industrial wastewater facility will treat some more wastewater.
"Treated wastewater from the new facility will be pumped back into town, blended with the discharge from the existing plant and then discharged into the river," Sindt added.
"There will also be some renovation work at the existing facility".
The new industrial treatment facility will produce biosolids, which will be stored in a new 11 million gallon lagoon.
Le Mars city administrator Scott Langel said that the new facility will enable the city to treat 3.3 million gallons of wastewater per day.
Langel also claimed that the new industrial treatment facility will add 500,000 gallons of daily wastewater treatment capacity to the 2.8 million gallon daily capacity at the existing wastewater treatment facility.
Treated wastewater from the industrial facility will be pumped back to the existing treatment facility to eliminate the need for two permits to discharge treated wastewater into the river.
Construction of the project, which will commence in January 2013 and is slated to be completed in March 2014, will require permits from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Image: The Le Mars City Council has decided to build a new facility to expand the city's wastewater treatment capability. Photo: Martina Nolte.