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Design Guidance Documents

Alternative Wastewater Treatment Design Guidance Manuals

The DNR has developed design guidance manuals for five technologies in an effort to broaden the number of treatment options considered for managing wastewater within Iowa's communities (with populations ranging from 25 to 250) and provide uniform design guidelines for everyone involved to follow.

The five alternative technologies evaluated are: Recirculating Media Filters, Sand Mounds, Drip Dispersal, Constructed Wetlands, and Alternative Collection Systems. Understanding the design guidance is important for consulting engineers and planners involved in the planning, funding, and design, and construction of wastewater treatment improvement projects since they are not addressed in current rules.

The guidance will enable professionals to evaluate these alternatives and work through the state approval process with confidence.

 Recirculating Media Filter Manual
 Sand Mound Manual
 Drip Dispersal Manual
 Constructed Wetlands Manual
 Alternative Collection System Manual
 Appendix A - Primary Treatment Units
 Appendix B - Pressure Distribution Design

Wastewater Technology Assessments

Due to revisions to Iowa’s Water Quality Standards, many communities are faced with more stringent NPDES Permit limits for bacteria and end-of-pipe ammonia limits. Communities may experience significant costs associated with upgrading existing or building new wastewater infrastructure to meet the proposed effluent limits. These conditions created a need to broaden the treatment options considered for managing wastewater in Iowa communities.

DNR has evaluated several new technologies for wastewater treatment that have been presented as provided in section 14.4.3 “Required Engineering Data for New Process Evaluation” in the Iowa Wastewater Design Standards. These technologies are not addressed by detailed design criteria in the Iowa design standards. These DNR assessments are based on the information and data from operating or pilot systems.

After research and data analysis, DNR staff developed technical design guidance for alternative wastewater treatment technologies. These assessments in addition to the applicable Iowa Wastewater Facilities Design Standards are intended to provide guidance to designers for project submittals to DNR for review and approval based on current empirical information relative to the capabilities of the process in various applications. These processes were evaluated for technical capability for treating small municipal systems with primarily domestic wastewater only without  industrial or significant commercial loads.

These assessments are not design standards but when used in conjunction with design standards, should serve as expectations of the Department for permit approval. Based on information and experience, design standards may be developed in the future.

Assessment No. 09-01 LemTec Biological Treatment 
Assessment No. 09-02 AdvanTex Treatment
Assessment No. 11-01 SAGR Treatment

Sequencing Batch Reactors (SBRs)

Iowa DNR Design Guidance and Criteria for SBRs

Controlled Discharge Lagoon Ammonia & Bacteria Effluent Data

April 2011 Controlled Discharge Lagoon Effluent Data Study
Controlled Discharge Lagoon Data Presentation (observed effluent data through Fall 2011)

Geotechnical Reviews  

Geotechnical Reviews Presentation (presented by Iowa Geological and Water Survey 2/21/12)


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