Local leaders are applying for a program that may give back some of what Sioux Center spends on the new wastewater plant to use for improving water quality.
These state dollars can be used to add natural water filters to areas that impact water sources.
Sioux Center Utilities Engineer Matt Van Schouwen explained that the city is looking into several possible ideas for water quality improvement through this program.
One possible idea is to make a larger drainage basin in the Meadow Creek development area into what is called a bio-retention cell. This basin could collect storm water and allow the nutrients to settle out before the water moves downstream.
Other ideas focus on Sioux Center’s east well fields. These include working with farmers upstream to add natural filters to areas where water leaves their land or adding a wetland area around the wells to help remove nitrates from the water.
This water quality improvement program is offered through the Iowa State Revolving Fund, a pool of state dollars cities can borrow from at low interest rates to pay for wastewater and water improvements.
Sioux Center is borrowing from this fund to design and potentially to build the community’s new wastewater plant. The city could receive up to 10 percent of that loan back to pay for water quality projects.
“This is a great opportunity the state offers to reinvest some of that money, and we want to take advantage of that to improve water quality,” Van Schouwen said.