For more than 50 years the Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC) has been committed to helping the community grow not only it’s manufacturing and workforce base but also to support local municipalities in the development of valuable infrastructure that fosters community growth. At May’s CCDC board meeting Ty Wheeler, Osceola City Administrator, along with Mayor, Thomas Kedley, presented a proposal to kick off an effluent water recirculation pipeline that would carry treated water from the new Osceola city wastewater treatment plant to the municipal golf course and eventually on to the business park and West Lake. The grant request for the initial phase of the affluent pipeline totaled $718,600.

osceola effluent recirculated wastewater pipeline plan

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According to the city’s grant request, “The city is currently working on an ‘indirect reuse’ proposal that will be the first of its kind in the State of Iowa. If fully implemented the indirect reuse would provide approximately 221- to 345-million gallons of additional water annually…to supplement the raw water inventory in West Lake.”

“This phase will be the jumping point for the entire effluent pipeline,” said Mayor Kedley. “And it will help lighten the burden on our current raw water source, West Lake.”

The first stage of the effluent pipeline development would help set the direction for future expansion by creating a suitable pathway using 12” and 6” pipes to carry the water necessary to support and augment the water supply in West Lake. Initially, the pipeline will replace the potable water supply feeding the golf course irrigation system and use the effluent recirculated water. This will immediately remove that particular municipal draw from the community’s potable water inventory. Future phases may include additional pipeline and infrastructure to transport water to Osceola’s manufacturers and industrial users on the south side of the city.

“We know our biggest water users are our industrial partners,” said Wheeler. “It makes sense to explore a non-potable water system to meet industrial non-potable water needs.”

A major aspect of the initial phase of the pipeline development is to not only take advantage of the volume available from the wastewater treatment plant, but to also illustrate for the Iowa DNR the effectiveness of using treated effluent water in these situations. As discussions continue with the city, Water Works officials, and the DNR specific to connecting the effluent pipeline to West Lake, these initial stages will help to reinforce the effectiveness of using effluent water, showing that Osceola is ready to innovate and create problem-solving solutions to help mitigate future issues from potential drought situations.

During the conversation surrounding the grant request, CCDC board and attending community members talked about Osceola’s need for alternate water solutions as well as the impact utilizing the effluent water for non-drinking applications could have on the community.

“For me this is a ‘No brainer,’” said CCDC board member, Doug Miller. “Funding innovative and impactful ways like this to reduce our average draw from West Lake just makes sense.”

Since the fall of 2023, the CCDC has been setting aside funds to help with the drought situation facing the community. Much of the funding needed to kick off the initial phase of the effluent pipeline venture will come from those funds and the remainder of the program will be funded through a bond by the City and reimbursed through CCDC grant money.

“Water is the linchpin to the future of all development, from agriculture to manufacturing to housing and more,” said Bill Trickey, CCDC Executive Director. “Our city officials have been working tirelessly to find viable solutions for alternate water sources.  We’re excited to make the investments necessary to assure sustainability and attract future businesses and residents to our community.”

Next steps in the development of the effluent pipeline from Osceola wastewater treatment plant will include engineering studies and cost evaluations for advanced treatment.   The City is currently studying the potential use of a deep well for disposal of reverse-osmosis waste effluent, which is critical to the deployment of indirect reuse concept.

If you have questions or would like to get more information about grants or opportunities through the Clarke County Development Corporation, you can contact Bill Trickey at the Clarke County Development Corporation offices at: 115 E Washington St, Osceola, IA 50213, phone: 641-342-2944, or email: [email protected].

For more details about the effluent pipeline and the cities plans for development of that program, please reach out to Osceola City Hall at 115 N Fillmore St, Osceola, IA 50213, phone: 641-342-2377, or email Osceola City Administrator, Ty Wheeler at: [email protected]