Agreement with City of Waterloo, Iowa, to Settle Clean Water Act Violations Will Address Sewer Overflows

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Lenexa, Kan. -- EPA, the U.S. Department of Justice and the State of Iowa have reached a proposed settlement of alleged Clean Water Act violations by the City of Waterloo, Iowa, that will require the city to assess its sanitary sewer system and develop a master plan to eliminate unlawful sewer overflows and bypasses.

A proposed consent decree, lodged yesterday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, in Cedar Rapids, would require Waterloo to perform comprehensive assessments of the capacity and condition of its wastewater treatment facility and sewer system, which includes approximately 400 miles of sanitary sewer lines and 300 miles of storm sewer lines.

Based on the information developed by those assessments, by Dec. 31, 2017, the city would be required to submit to EPA and the State of Iowa a master plan describing remedial measures necessary to address the sewer system’s problems with capacity, inflow and infiltration, with the goal of eliminating sanitary sewer overflows and bypasses. Following review and approval of the master plan by EPA and the State of Iowa, Waterloo would then have until Dec. 31, 2032, to complete all necessary work on its sewer system.

Additionally, the consent decree would require Waterloo to pay a total of $272,000 in settlement; complete a footing drain removal program that it has already begun; implement a sanitary sewer overflow response plan; and implement a comprehensive management, operations and maintenance program.

The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval of the federal court before it becomes final. A copy of the consent decree is available online.

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