V&K has worked with the City of Elkhart since the early 1980s on a variety of projects relating to city engineering. In 1986, we worked with the City of Elkhart to modify its original lagoon system to an aerated lagoon system, but, over the last 15 years, Elkhart’s population has more than doubled. As a result of the growth, their lagoon system has reached its capacity.
In 2015, the City received a new NPDES permit from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, requiring them to meet ammonia nitrogen limitations and disinfect the system to limit the level of E. coli in the effluent. The City evaluated a number of alternatives for its aerated lagoon system, all of which would require a much larger system than currently exists. Because the system is located within 300 feet of the houses, the city council had a strong preference not to expand the treatment system.
The city selected a new site located approximately 4,000 feet north of the City. V&K designed a new aerated lagoon system that includes two aerated lagoon cells as well as LEMNA technology to allow the city to meet ammonia nitrogen limits. The new facility includes an ultraviolet light disinfection system to allow the city to meet the E. coli limits as well.
The new lagoon system was designed for a population of 1,200 to allow the city to continue its rapid residential and commercial growth. And, the new site provides Elkhart with an adjacent land area to expand the lagoon system if necessary.