Iowa City Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion Named APWA Project of the Year

The Iowa City Wastewater Expansion Project was named Project of the Year in the Environmental $25M - $75M Category by the Iowa Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA). 

Seldom does the key to the city lie in its wastewater treatment plant.  But that’s the case in Iowa City, Iowa, pop. 71,000.   The $50.2 million South Plant expansion, the City’s largest public works project ever, was essential to the future of Iowa City. 

This project marks the culmination of a nearly 40-year effort to move all wastewater treatment plant operations out of the city’s core.  It doubles the plant’s treatment capacity to 24 mgd allows for significant city growth while also meeting more stringent ammonia limits.  “This new facility, for the first time in decades, allows us the possibility of significant population expansion,” said former Iowa City Mayor Matt Hayek. 

The expansion includes multiple process and equipment enhancements that improve efficiency and sustainability.  A unique Bio-Augmentation Reaeration (BAR) system decreases the amount of tank space necessary for treatment and reduces the high concentrations of ammonia produced.  A new ultraviolet disinfection process replaced the chlorine gas and sulfur dioxide process, eliminating the potential hazards posed by the transportation and use of these highly dangerous chemicals. 

The expansion was designed by Stanley Consultants, which permitted and managed the construction of the original plant in 1999 and then designed its 2003 expansion. 

The project has received several other design awards including:

  • Honor Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Iowa
  • National Recognition Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies
  • 2015 Top Project Award from Water and Wastes Digest Magazine

Click here to learn more about the project.