Sioux City City Council meets to discuss wastewater treatment plant renovation

Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 10:02 PM CST
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - The Sioux City wastewater plant could see a more than $500 million renovation.

The Sioux City City Council held a special meeting Thursday night to go over proposed renovations to the city’s wastewater plant.

In the meeting, city utility officials discussed the current status of the plant and explained what needs to change and why. They also discussed what rates would look like for residents and industries as a result.

They were joined by representatives from Hazen, who helped city officials evaluate the repair cost.

The goal of the plan is to tackle how reliable the plant is, safety issues, and the odor created by the current plant.

The plant has been in operation for more than 40 years and has deteriorated throughout the years.

”We’re experiencing a lot of corrosion with our concrete,” said Tom Pingel, Utilities Director for the City of Sioux City. “We’re experiencing a lot of failures with some of our internal systems, if you will, the brain of the wastewater treatment plant. So we thought at this time would be a good time to address that and start the facility plan.”

The 3-stage plan is expected to take 10 to 15 years to complete and should set the plant up to run smoothly for at least 20 years after that.

It’ll also help create local jobs. By increasing the capacity of the plant, more large industries that use a lot of wastewater can be welcomed into the city.

While the total cost of the plan is valued at nearly $580 million, residents may not notice too big of a change in their bills.

”All of the money to fund anything in the sewer, it comes from your sewer bills,” said Pingel. “So, the ratepayers, the industrial ratepayers that use a lot of our capacity, and our residents. That is all coming from just what you pay in your sewer bill. So, as we increase the rates to that, that money will allow us to pay off the debts for the financing to do these projects.”

While no decision was reached on the plan in this meeting, city utility officials are hopeful they can find a contractor and get the plan approved and under way by the second quarter of 2023.