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Waterloo scolded in lawsuit for releasing raw sewage into Cedar River for years

This news story was published on January 26, 2016.
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CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – The city of Waterloo was sued on October 26, 2015, by the United States and the State of Iowa on multiple counts alleging violations of the Clean Water Act and Iowa law. The violations involved the illegal discharge of untreated sewage, permit violations, and violations relating to the city’s operation and maintenance of its sewer system.

On January 20, 2016, the Federal District Court in Cedar Rapids signed a consent decree between the parties. The consent decree requires the city of Waterloo to comply with the Clean Water Act and take all steps necessary to come into compliance with the Act. The consent decree requires the city to meet several benchmarks, including:

– Continuing to implement rainfall and flow monitoring and a footing drain removal program;
– Implementing a Capacity, Management, Operations and Maintenance (CMOM) Program Plan for the city’s sewer system;
– Completing targeted Condition and Capacity Assessments of the sewer system;
– Creating a Hydraulic Model of the sewer system;
– Developing a Sanitary Sewer Master Plan that proposes specific remedial measures for the sewer system; and
– Completing the remedial measures set forth in the Master Plan.

This settlement mandates that Waterloo make critical structural changes to its sanitary sewer system to improve the quality of Iowa’s waterways. The enforceable schedule established by this consent decree will ensure completion of upgrades needed to handle wet weather events.

United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, Kevin W. Techau, stated, “Leadership in the city of Waterloo should be commended for working through this difficult situation and committing to make the improvements to water quality that will result from the settlement.” Techau, however, noted that, “For years the city has been releasing raw sewer water containing pathogens into the Cedar River, threatening public health and impacting all citizens—those who rely on the Cedar River for drinking water as well as Iowans who love to fish and use the river for recreation. So this settlement is not only great news for the citizens of Waterloo but for everyone that cares about clean water.”

Techau went on to add, “This is especially true for those Iowans who live down river from Waterloo. The settlement will safeguard water quality and protect human health by ensuring much needed upgrades to the Waterloo sewer infrastructure that will reduce combined sewage overflows and the public’s exposure to harmful pathogens.”

The case was handled by the Department of Justice, Environmental and Natural Resources Division Trial Attorney Danica Anderson Glaser, Assistant United States Attorney Matthew J. Cole, Assistant Iowa Attorney General David R. Sheridan, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

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7 Responses to Waterloo scolded in lawsuit for releasing raw sewage into Cedar River for years

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 27, 2016 at 10:50 am

    The old school building in Lake Mills (where 5 and 6 grade were) used to flush the urinal water out a pipe next to the back steps. Right where we kids used to go to the playground.


  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 27, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Weez just pubic servants -you can’t find our stupidity (criminal) at fault.. Vote for Donald and make the government workers honest again- it thats possible.

    • Avatar

      rahmbo Reply Report comment

      January 27, 2016 at 10:23 am

      It’s the dang government regulations like the Clean Water Act which have ruined this nation.

      Make America Great Again–Vote for Trump and drink Perrier

  3. Avatar

    Allen Reply Report comment

    January 26, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    They should be fined like the farmers are, and any others that do this.

    • Avatar

      Just for the record Reply Report comment

      January 26, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      Taxpayers should pay that fine? What?

      • Avatar

        Allen Reply Report comment

        January 26, 2016 at 4:21 pm

        You do have a point, but it’s still not right for city government to get away with doing this.

        • Avatar

          LVS Reply Report comment

          January 26, 2016 at 5:26 pm

          They could always put the offical’s in charge in jail and fine the hell out of them personally.