Jan 03, 2018

Possible Wastewater Solutions Presented by University of Iowa Students

Potential solutions would fix treatment issue at eastern Iowa lake

University of Iowa students offer wastewater solutions

Engineering students from the University of Iowa offered potential design options to officials in Delaware County that would allow home septic systems to meet state code in Delhi, Iowa.

The students are a part of the university organization Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities. According to Assistant Director Travis Kraus, the organization puts students in touch with different cities and organizations to aid in various sustainability projects.

“Working with a community like Delhi can both benefit the community and the student,” said Kraus. “Students want to do better when they know their work isn’t just hypothetical.”

Lake Delhi has been facing significant wastewater issues since 2010 after the lake was drained following a dam breach. The town was given until 2020 from the Iowa state government to have the lake’s waters adhere to the state’s codes.

The state covered the costs of the initial dam breach, but the construction of a new wastewater treatment facility for the town proved to be too costly. The students offered three potential design solutions for the one-third of Delhi households that still fail to meet state codes. The options offered a price range from $10,000 to $34,000.

Whether or not the solutions offered by the university students are utilized or if options offered by state officials will be used remains to be seen.