FAQ 2017-06-19T11:06:20+00:00



How does my community rank on the state’s SFY2013 Intended Use Plan?

Iowa:  SFY2014 Iowa Intended Use Plan

Nebraska:  SFY2014 Nebraska Intended Use Plan

My community is located in Iowa.  How do we get listed on the State’s Intended Use Plan?

In Iowa, publically-operated water/wastewater systems must submit a Preliminary Engineering Report along with an Intended Use Plan Application to the Iowa Finance Authority (for water projects) or Iowa Department of Natural Resources (for wastewater projects) for possible inclusion on the State’s Intended Use Plan.  Iowa updates their Intended Use Plan quarterly based upon the following deadlines:

Iowa Clean Water Intended Use Plan Deadlines

Iowa Drinking Water Intended Use Plan Deadlines

My community is located in Nebraska.  How do we get listed on the State’s Intended Use Plan?

Nebraska uses a Community Needs Survey process to identify and prioritize its water and wastewater needs of the State.  To be listed on the annual Intended Use Plan, a publically-operated water/wastewater system must complete a Community Needs Survey (typically mailed out each October) for their water and wastewater system and return it to the state by December 31, 2012.  The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Community Needs Survey can be accessed here:  Nebraska Clean Water Survey Form

The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Community Needs Survey can be accessed here:  Nebraska Drinking Water Survey Form

What is the low- and moderate-income percentage for my community?

Iowa:  Low and Moderate Income for Iowa Communities and Counties

Nebraska:  Low and Moderate Income for Nebraska communities and Counties

Where can I find census data about my community?

2000 Census

2010 Census


Our community’s water has an awful smell to it, similar to rotten eggs, is it harmful?

a. Water with ‘septic’ or ‘rotten egg’ smells may be caused by sulfur bacteria and/or the presence of hydrogen sulfide. The smell of the gas can result from a number of different sources and many are naturally occurring. In most cases, the water is not a health hazard or unsanitary. The bacteria can gradually leave a red, brown or black colored slime or film on plumbing fixtures. However, we feel that it is always a good idea to have your water tested for standard testing of coliform bacteria and e-coli for safety. These problems can be remedied in water supplies with the most common solutions including chemical disinfection, filtration and/or softening practices.

Our community has an area of low pressure where we receive many complaints, what are typical pressures for community water systems?

a. Most water systems are a complex maze of pipelines of varying sizes and conditions. A common problem in country is that the distribution systems were built many decades ago for much smaller use than we commonly do today. It is probably most common to see water pressures ranging from 40 to 60 psi (pounds per square inch) in residential areas. In commercial and industrial areas, higher pressures may be necessary for their operations.

b. Each region of the country has minimum standards that are in place for water pressures. In the Midwest, the most common standards require positive water pressures to average no less than 35 psi and extreme conditions not result in the pressure to drop below 20 psi.

c. Common remedies often include replacing small diameter pipes, adding storage tanks and/or installation of pumping stations to increase pressure in an entire region of a distribution system.

Our wastewater treatment facility receives more than two times the flow than we pump in our water system, is that normal?

a. Sanitary sewer systems are capable of receiving waste volumes larger than the drinking water supply. This is frequently because of infiltration of groundwater or stormwater into cracks or holes in pipes or manholes. The volume of water from these sources tends to increase dramatically in wet weather conditions. Other sources could be improper connections, such as roof drains or sump pumps, or industrial contributions to the system that didn’t start with drinking water.

b. Damaged piping and manholes can be repaired to help reduce the quantity of wastewater through a variety of construction techniques. However, the locations of these repairs are very difficult to diagnose. We recommend the first step a system pursue is conducting and infiltration and inflow study. This is the implementation of a program to closely monitor segmented flows in the system, smoke testing the collection system, televising underground pipes and above ground physical inspections to compile data and make a solid prioritization of problem areas.

c. Common construction projects include lining old piping with new pipes, replacement of old piping, reinforcing manholes and disconnection of illegal connections. It is worth noting that it is practically impossible to eliminate all unknown sources of wastewater, but a system can be drastically improved with the right projects.

Our community has an industry that sends high strength wastewater to the municipal system that often effects our system and occasionally causes us to be out of compliance, what should we do to address this?

a. Industrial wastewater generators can be beneficial source of income for a system, but management of the higher strength wastes can be a challenge to operational staff at the final treatment facility. The most common challenges that a facility experiences are hydraulic overloads, temperature extremes and excess amounts of contaminants.

b. A system needs to coordinate many considerations to provide a successful partnership between the industries and the sewer system. In most cases, changes to monitoring, communicating and administrating the wastewater flows are the most successful ways to produce a reliable working relationship between parties. Some of the most common practices to improve wastewater conditions for the system are:
i. Establishing a solid and fair sewer ordinance that addresses the costs and limits on flows and contaminants (BOD, TSS, Oils and Grease, pH, Temperatures, etc…) allowed to be discharged.
ii. Review the industry’s pre-treatment permit requirements and records. Coordinate with the industry to determine if cost effective pre-treatment practices could be enacted by them that would benefit both parties.
iii. Consistently monitor the water quality and flows from problematic locations or industries to determine if there are problems that don’t show up on regular record keeping.