Eagle Grove signs DNR consent order over wastewater

City now in compliance


Kelby Wingert, Messenger News (IA)

Jul 20, 2021


EAGLE GROVE — The City of Eagle Grove was in a little bit of hot water with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources earlier this summer.


According to an administrative consent order between the city and the DNR, DNR staff conducted an inspection of the Eagle Grove wastewater treatment facility in August 2020. During this inspection, inspectors found that Prestage Foods of Iowa, a “significant industrial user” was in violation of its treatment agreement with the city and the city was in “substantial noncompliance with its nitrate effluent limit.”


According to Eagle Grove City Administrator Bryce Davis, the issue was mainly with the wastewater treatment facility being unable to treat the pretreated wastewater sent to it by Prestage.


Davis said the city’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination System, or NPDES, permit with the DNR is for 1,900 pounds per day of max loading of effluents like nitrogen, solids, ammonia nitrogen and more. Under the city’s NPDES permit, the city discharges treated wastewater to various drainage ditches, which ultimately flow to the Boone River.


Prestage’s agreement with the city allows the pork processing plant to send the city more than 1,600 pounds per day of total Kjeldahl nitrogen, or TKN. He said Prestage has been sending an average of 1,200 pounds per day of TKN, so they’ve been under their permitted levels for that.


“The problem...