Fehr Graham was recently awarded $1 million in engineering fees to upgrade the city of Waukon's wastewater treatment plant. The system struggles to meet permit limits because of its age and because of high industrial loading. The Environmental Protection Agency issued a compliance order that requires the upgrades, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources issued a new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit that requires disinfection and nutrient removal for Waukon's system.
The improvements will address these issues using a new oxidation ditch activated sludge facility, new screening, grit removal and ultraviolet disinfection. Structures within the treatment plant will be converted to aerobic digesters. These improvements will address the permit limits and issues and the industrial loading. It also allows the city to accommodate future growth.
Lucas Elsbernd, project engineer in Fehr Graham's Manchester, Iowa, office, says that he "is most excited about being part of a project that will help Waukon achieve compliance with regulations and will allow for continued growth of the community." The total cost of the wastewater treatment plant upgrades is estimated at $11.2 million.