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Former Sioux City Wastewater Operators Agree To Surrender Certification

DES MOINES – Two former wastewater operators from Sioux City have agreed to permanently surrender their wastewater operator certifications following discovery by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that treatment procedures within the city’s wastewater operation were being manipulated.

Jay Niday and Patrick Schwarte, both of Sioux City, have entered a consent order with the DNR to surrender their certifications and agreed not to appeal the revocations.

The certification revocations came after discovery by the DNR that the chlorine feed at the facility was being improperly manipulated. Chlorine dosages were dramatically increased on days that E. coli samples were being taken and then turned back once the sampling was complete, a practice that had been occurring for years.

The consent orders issued note that Niday, who was formerly the operator in charge of the Sioux City Sewage Treatment Plant, and Schwarte, a shift supervisor, should have known that manipulation of the facility’s chlorine dosage is a violation of the city’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

There are currently 1,804 certified wastewater operators in the state of Iowa. The certification is required to operate public wastewater treatment facilities. 

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