Brooklyn, Iowa, Wastewater Treatment Upgrade

Improvements help city meet Clean Water Act standards.

(Apr. 27, 2018) - BROOKLYN - In 2013, the City of Brooklyn obtained a new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit from the Iowa DNR. It came with more stringent discharge limits to meet new water-quality standards of the Clean Water Act.

The city’s existing wastewater treatment facility – a three-cell aerated lagoon treatment system – could not meet the new standards, however. An upgrade of the city’s wastewater treatment system was in order.

MMS Consultants, Inc. has a long history of successful partnership with the City of Brooklyn, including sewer and other wastewater projects. Brooklyn tapped MMS for this project as well, and we began the process in 2014 with an analysis and report on the city’s options. MMS recommended the city convert to an activated sludge treatment system, and the city agreed.

Funding posed a challenge for the city. Brooklyn is a small community with a tight municipal budget. The total estimated project cost is $4.1 million. So MMS Consultants assisted the city with obtaining a Community Development Block Grant for $500,000 and a State Revolving Fund loan for the remainder.

Longtime engineer Ed Brinton served as MMS’ lead designer for the project, with Scott Pottorff as project manager and Della Caldwell as project engineer.

"The challenge for this treatment site is the large amount of infiltration into the system during rainstorms, which increases the flow to the plant by up to 10-to-15 times the normal flows to the plant," Pottorff said. "Elements of the treatment plant need to be able to accommodate this large fluctuation in flows.  Luckily, we are able to use the existing lagoons to provide some equalization of these large flows."

Ultraviolet disinfection is a big piece of the system, which MMS affectionately refers to as the “double doughnut” because of its shape. UV light is used to kill pathogens in the wastewater, eliminating the need for chlorination and its chemical side effects.

The project includes new buildings and pipes at the treatment plant site, a new relief sewer south of town to move wastewater to the plant and a new outfall pipe to move clean, treated water to Little Bear Creek.

The outfall pipe passes under a rail line, requiring MMS and the City of Brooklyn to collaborate with Iowa Interstate Railroad. MMS also partnered with Design Engineers, for electrical and HVAC work, and Shoemaker & Haaland, for structural engineering, on this project.

MMS’ services include systems analysis, engineering design, funding assistance, bidding assistance, and construction administration and inspection.

As of April 2016, the wastewater treatment plant’s design is done, permitted and out for bid. Construction will begin in summer 2016.

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MMS Consultants, Inc. provides professional civil engineering and land surveying services — from simple property surveys to complete design and construction management. Since 1975, the firm has successfully completed nearly 40,000 municipal improvement and private land development projects throughout Eastern Iowa.

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