The city of Osceola is well on its way to meeting new Federal Clean Water regulations with renovation plans for the Osceola wastewater plant. Plans for the future plant show great potential for self-sustainability through methane conversion options not available in similar sized communities.
In 2015, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, as directed by the EPA, issued the City a new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit which drastically reduced the nutrient limitations the City was allowed to discharge through its treated waste. The new permit will require the City to construct a new plant capable of complying with the new limits and have it online by January of 2021. The necessary updates will easily double the size of the current facility, allowing for continued growth throughout Osceola, both residential and industrial.
With an abundance of supporting industrial and agricultural businesses in the area, the Osceola wastewater plant currently processes a waste stream with loadings equal to that of a city 6 times the size. During a tour of Liberty, Missouri’s wastewater plant, which serves 25,000 – 35,000 people, the Liberty plant’s waste loading still failed to meet what Osceola’s current plant handles.
The new plans for the Osceola wastewater plant have been drafted and are awaiting approval from the DNR, with an answer expected early this fall. Once approved, the plans will be engineered, with construction starting in hopefully 18 months and lasting for approximately 2 years, in plenty of time to meet EPA deadlines.
Considering the abundance of methane the Osceola wastewater plant will able to capture, the latest plans include a state-of-the-art methane conversion system as well as an expanded laboratory with technology to meet the growing complexity of mandatory lab work to be done on site.
We’re really excited about the proposed facility, for a number of reasons,” said City Administrator, Ty Wheeler. “The current plant is able to just manage our residential and industrial load, but the new facility will allow the city to better accommodate current and future residential and industrial waste water needs. Also, the ability to capture the methane and produce the electricity to operate the plant could potentially save $10,000 a month in operating costs.”
The city of Osceola is leading the way with this substantial renovation, as there are no other cities in South-Central Iowa capable of taking these steps toward self-sustainability. Construction of the wastewater plant will be funded through money set aside from utilities payments, with the potential of methane conversion alleviating some industrial and residential burden in the future. The new, improved facility will be constructed right next to the existing plant.
With a larger, more efficient and advanced wastewater plant facility, Osceola and surrounding areas will have the potential for growth through continued economic development and building a sustainable and inviting community.
For more information on the renovations scheduled for the Osceola wastewater plant, contact Ty Wheeler, Osceola City Administrator, at City Hall, 115 N Fillmore St, Osceola, IA 50213, phone, (641) 342-2377, email: twhe[email protected]