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Water Members: Save the Date and Plan to Attend DNR Retirement Celebration

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Julie Sievers and Bryon Whiting, two long-time DNR Field Office 3 Senior Environmental Specialists, will be retiring at the end of the year. A retirement celebration for them will be held on December 18, 2019, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Iowa Lakes Community College in Spencer, 1900 Grand Avenue.  Please use the west entrance.

Tags:  IDNR 

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Water Members: Consider Participating in the ‘National Study of Nutrient Removal and Secondary Technologies: Publicly Owned Treatment Works’

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Each city and/or municipal wastewater treatment plant in the country should have already received a letter from the EPA notifying them about this voluntary study with instructions on how they can participate. 

The purpose of the study is to obtain nationwide data on nutrient removal to help set more realistic and achievable nutrient reductions, help Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) understand the range of opportunities to optimize nutrient removals based on data from their peers, and encourage improved POTW nutrient removal performance with less expense.

Iowa DNR participated in developing this study over the last two years and was able to help steer this study into something that the Iowa DNR thinks will be truly beneficial. 

This is a multi-phase effort, and the first phase of the study is a screener questionnaire. The goal of this questionnaire is to identify and characterize the full population of POTWs in the country that discharge to a water of the United States. The information will be used to help establish a baseline of nutrient performance at the national level for all POTWs.

The Iowa DNR is encouraging systems to complete the questionnaire, as its success will benefit POTWs in our state, nationwide, and all stakeholders involved in managing nutrients at the watershed level. You can find the survey at https://www.epa.gov/eg/potw-nutrient-survey

To help encourage participation, the Iowa DNR is offering CEUs to operators who participate in the study. An Iowa wastewater operator who completes the survey and submits a copy of the EPA competition certificate will receive 3 hours of CEUs. The EPA completion certificates should be emailed to Laurie Sharp for processing at laurie.sharp@dnr.iowa.gov. The Iowa DNR is hoping to have as many of Iowa's facilities represented as possible.

The EPA is hoping to get responses by Nov. 26 (the Tuesday before Thanksgiving).

If you have any questions, contact Adam Schnieders, Acting Water Quality Bureau Chief & Water Quality Resource Coordinator with the Iowa DNR, at 515-238-055 or by email at adam.schnieders@dnr.iowa.gov.

Here is a helpful link from EPA about the effort: https://www.epa.gov/eg/national-study-nutrient-removal-and-secondary-technologies

Tags:  EPA  IDNR  POTWS  Water 

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New Grants Available from Iowa Wastewater & Drinking Water Treatment Financial Assistance Fund

Posted By Josh Trout, Friday, August 16, 2019

The Iowa Wastewater and Drinking Water Treatment Financial Assistance Fund was created in 2018 to give grants to water and wastewater projects.  The Fund was established by Senate File 512 and is described in Iowa Code Section 16.134.

The application for the first grant awards is now available.  Applications must be submitted to the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) by September 13, 2019.

The grant priorities are:

  • Disadvantaged communities (Note: communities must have received disadvantaged designation)
  • Projects that will significantly improve water quality in the watershed
  • Projects that use alternative wastewater treatment technologies (Note: all projects proposing alternative technologies must be approved by the Iowa DNR)
  • Communities with the highest sewer or water rates
  • Projects that use technology to address nutrient reduction
  • Projects that will improve source waters for drinking water utilities

The grant awardees are determined by a committee consisting of the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture (or designee), the Executive Director of the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) (or designee), and the Director of the Iowa DNR (or designee).  Awards will be announced in October.

The application form and more information are available at the IFA website

Tags:  Grants  IDNR  IFA  Water 

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2018 State of Iowa Public Drinking Water Program Annual Compliance Report

Posted By IAMU, Monday, July 8, 2019

Under the 1996 reauthorized Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the State of Iowa is required to publish an annual report of the status of its public drinking water program. The 2018 report is available electronically at the following address: http://www.iowadnr.gov/WS-Annual-Compliance-Report.

The report was compiled by the staff of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' Water Supply Engineering and Operations Sections, using data collected in 2018 from all active public water supplies in the state. The report contains a summary of the program, a description of the requirements that systems must meet, the year’s violation statistics, and the list of the systems with each health-based standard or major monitoring or reporting violation incurred during the year.  

The photographs in the report are from Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund projects, primarily those that were completed during the year. The maps depict the public water supply system universe in Iowa and the locations of the systems that incurred the health-based standards and major monitoring and reporting violations. The maps are also separately listed on the website.

Iowa had 1,838 active public water supply systems in 2018. Of those systems, 95.2% complied with all health-based drinking water standards, and 82.1% complied with all major monitoring and reporting requirements. There were no waterborne disease outbreaks or deaths attributed to the drinking water at any active public water supply in Iowa during the year.

If you have any questions about the report, please contact Diane Moles, Executive Officer 2, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 515-725-0281, diane.moles@dnr.iowa.gov.

Tags:  IDNR  Safe Drinking Water Act 

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Kayla Lyon named first female director of the Iowa DNR

Posted By IAMU, Monday, July 1, 2019

Gov. Kim Reynolds has appointed Kayla Lyon as the first female director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Lyon will take over as the eighth director of the agency on July 8 and replace Bruce Trautman who has served as acting director since May 2018.

“As my legislative liaison and lead policy advisor on agriculture and natural resources, Kayla oversaw DNR operations including regulatory permitting, conservation efforts, and wildlife issues,” Reynolds said. “She also played an instrumental role in the 2018 comprehensive water quality funding bill. As DNR Director, Kayla will serve a key role in helping our state continue to grow.”

“I am honored to lead the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and appreciate the governor for providing me a new opportunity to serve Iowans,” Lyon said. “In this role, I will continue the DNR’s mission to protect our natural resources, state parks, landscapes, and improve the quality of life in Iowa for generations to come.”

Prior to joining the Governor’s office, Kayla spent her career in government affairs working on agriculture, renewable fuels, water quality, and environmental policy while representing farmers and agribusiness.

Lyon is a native of Decorah and currently lives in Ames with her husband and two daughters.

Tags:  IDNR 

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