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Mobile home park fined for inadequate wastewater treatment

By: - November 25, 2022 10:00 am

Creeks are protected waterways in Iowa. (Photo by Jared Strong/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

A mobile home park on the eastern outskirts of Iowa City failed for more than two years to address the excessive contamination it discharges from its wastewater treatment system, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Sunrise Village was recently ordered by the DNR to pay an $8,000 fine. It was required by the DNR to take steps to limit its E. coli bacteria and ammonia nitrogen outputs into a nearby creek by May 2020.

The mobile home park uses lagoons to treat the wastewater, but the DNR had determined they were incapable of meeting state regulations for the contaminants. Sunrise had considered updating the treatment system or connecting to a municipal sewer service but did neither before the May 2020 deadline, according to a recent DNR order.

From August 2020 until June 2022, the DNR issued Sunrise four notices of violation for excessive contaminant discharges, the order said. Throughout that time, Sunrise said it was formulating plans to correct the situation.

In July 2022, Sunrise submitted a plan to the DNR that said it would connect to Iowa City’s sewer system, however the recent DNR order lays out a schedule for Sunrise to construct a new wastewater treatment facility by August 2025.

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Jared Strong
Jared Strong

Senior reporter Jared Strong has written about Iowans and the important issues that affect them for more than 15 years, previously for the Carroll Times Herald and the Des Moines Register. His investigative work exposing police misconduct has notched several state and national awards. He is a longtime trustee of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, which fights for open records and open government. He is a lifelong Iowan and has lived mostly in rural western parts of the state.

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