Moratorium On New Sewer Hook-ups Temporarily Puts Halt To Development In Parts Of The Iowa Great Lakes

Tue 8-13-2019

(Spirit Lake)-- A moratorium that's currently in place barring any new connections onto parts of the Iowa Great Lakes Sanitary Sewer District system was a topic of discussion at today's (Tues.) Dickinson County Board of Supervisor's meeting.

David Kolhaase, the county's Planning and Zoning Administrator, brought the issue before the supervisors, saying many people are just learning about the moratorium.

Steve Anderson, Superintendent of the Iowa Great Lakes Sanitary District, tells KUOO news the moratorium is in effect until late November. He says it stems in part from illegal hookups, such as sump pumps that are discharging directly into the system. Anderson says the Sanitary District is currently conducting an extensive engineering study into its collection system and that the moratorium was put into place to give them an opportunity to get some baseline data...Hookup Moratorium01 

"We're just saying that sewer's going to be available for you but right now while we're doing this work we need to have a stable area to say okay, we're getting this stuff out so that the engineers can take the numbers and look at it and verify that what they believe is right, is correct, that the sewer system is sized properly, it is functioning properly. That is the reason for the moratorium, so."

Anderson says the bulk of the illegal connections they've found so far have been in Francis Sites, Loch Nolls and the southeast side of the city of Spirit Lake...Hookup Moratorium02 

"We've verified that all of the illegal connections are done and removed in Loch Nolls. There's one, but now as of yesterday, there's two illegal connections still in the Francis Sites area but right now we are up to, we've got letters sent out to people all the way up to Hawn Road; the next set of letters that will be going out will be from that road up to 28th Street in Spirit Lake; and the next group of letters will be going from covering the area of Spirit Lake. We're just trying to get the sewer system back to the way it's supposed to be so that it is handling just waste water, not taking on ground water, not taking on surface drains, not taking on sump pumps. There's a lot of question whether we have capacity in there, so we had the engineers looking at this since last summer and this is just a tool for us to be able to get a solid answer for everybody who questions whether we have capacity there, so."

Anderson adds the wastewater treatment plant itself on the northeast side of Milford has plenty of capacity to meet both current and future needs. But he says it's all of the excess ground water the plant has been receiving during heavy rainfall events that strains the system, also resulting in additional operational costs.

You can see the moratorium resolution that was approved by the IGL Sanitary District trustees by clicking here...