Monday - Friday
7:00 am to 3:30 pm
During working hours, call
641-648-2527 (City Hall)
On-call staff available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. After hours, please call the IFPD at 641-648-6464.
The water department draws its water from the Mississippian and Devonian aquifers thru a total of six wells in the range of 200 feet deep. This untreated water is pumped to the Pine Street plant or the Elk Run water treatment plant for filtration. Although slightly different in operation and appearance, both plants' main objective is the removal of iron and manganese from the raw water. This is done by aeration and the addition of chlorine which is an oxidizer and a disinfectant.
While our well water contains some naturally occurring fluoride, the department adds fluoride to bring it up to a beneficial level. Fluoride, along with chlorine and iron, are monitored daily to assure proper levels are maintained. These tests are submitted monthly along with bacteria sample results to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for review.
After water is filtered at the treatment plant, it is pumped into the distribution system. The distribution system contains over thirty miles of pipe that ranges in size from two inches to twelve inches in diameter. Excess water that is not immediately consumed is pushed into the city’s two water towers. Water towers store water for fire protection and peak demand times of the day.
In 2009 the water department pumped over 248 million gallons of water or 472 gallons every minute of the year.
For information regarding the quality of the water in Iowa Falls, see the Consumer Confidence Report.
The City Wastewater Treatment department treats the sewage that is generated by the residents and industry in the City of Iowa Falls.
Wastewater is collected thru a network of over thirty miles of sewer lines buried in the city ranging in size from four inches to 16 inches. Some sewers in the central part of town are over 100 years old. The newest lines in town lay in the bed of the Iowa River; they are associated with the interceptor siphon sewer project the city wrapped up in 2010.
Wastewater is then conveyed to the wastewater treatment plant primarily thru natural gravity flow; the city currently owns and operates thirteen sewage pump stations. These are necessary to pump wastewater to an elevation that will allow gravity flow to take place.
Once wastewater arrives at the wastewater plant, it is screened to remove large, untreatable solids such as plastics, towels and hygiene products. Next, the flow is cleansed of sand and rocks that are harmful to equipment in the facility. Wastewater flow rate is measure land then proceeds to the primary settling tanks. Here is where organic matter is given time to settle. The heavier solids are pumped to a digester where it is heated to promote the natural breakdown of organic matter, once this has been achieved; the digested material is ready for land application.
After primary settling, wastewater flows to the trickling filters. This is where microscopic bacteria are present in huge numbers. These bacteria feed on organic matter that is present in the wastewater. A great portion of the “strength” of the wastewater is removed in the trickling filters.
The flow is now collected and pumped thru the bio-tower. A different type of bacteria flourishes here, bacteria that feed on nitrogen. This is crucial to allow the facility to meet stringent standards set by the Department of Natural Resources.
Heavy solids are once again collected in the final clarifiers and are also pumped to the digester. Clear water flows from the final clarifiers to the chlorine contact chamber. In warm weather months, the plant is required to disinfect wastewater to greatly reduce the fecal chloroform concentration. The plant achieves this thru the addition of sodium hypochlorite (strong bleach). Time is allowed for the disinfectant to destroy the fecal chloroform bacteria. Once this time has elapsed, sodium bisulfate is added to the flow to neutralize the remaining disinfectant that was not used to destroy the fecal chloroform.
The wastewater is now diverted down aeration steps where it splashes down several vertical feet of stairs and where it naturally takes on oxygen before it is introduced to the Iowa River. Once it gets to the bottom of the aeration steps, it is now treated completely and is sent to the river thru a distribution pipe which evenly disperses the flow across the entire river.
The Iowa Falls wastewater treatment plant is strictly overseen by the Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency. The plant is required to submit a monthly report of several pollutant concentrations and other data. Some these are B.O.D., Ammonia, suspended solids, settleable solids, pH, temperature, Acid Alkalinity, fecal chloroform, flow and toxicity.
Most of these parameters are in-house by the city's own certified laboratory. The lab is inspected bi-annually by the state's Hygienic Laboratory staff to maintain certification.
In the year 2009, the Iowa Falls wastewater plant treated 465,312,000 gallons of wastewater, or an average of 885 gallons every minute of the year.