The wastewater treatment facility in Sheldon, Iowa is getting a major facelift.
The city will be building a new plant to meet new Iowa DNR standards set in 2015.
"You're looking at a plant, at least half the plant is 71 years old," said Sean Hutchison, city manager for Sheldon. "The major addition to that is 41 years old. So, we're mandated by the Department of Natural Resources to meet the new discharge requirements. Aside from that, the age of the plant was at a point where major retrofits needed to be made."
The city will continue to use some of the existing buildings along with the new facility.
The project will cost about $11.8-million overall.
And that means, significant rate increases will take place.
So, starting in January 2018, sewer rates will increase over the next three years.
"In January of 2020, rate payers will be paying $21.98 more a month or an average sewer bill would be $44.15," said Hutchison.
That's a 98-percent increase from the current rate.
It's a cost the city says they didn't have the choice of making.
"The DNR has the ability to fine the city approximately $5,000 a day for every day that they're not compliant," said Hutchison. "Each day is considered a new violation."
They hope to start construction shortly after bids go out in the Spring of 2018.
The goal is to have the new facility completed by August of 2019.
That gives them a six month window before the new state discharge permit requirement date of March 2020.