Elkader, Iowa

Population: 1,273
Employees: 2


Operations, maintenance and management of treatment plants, collection and distribution system

Description of Facilities:

WTP with chemical addition (gas chlorine, polyphosphate), 2 wells with 380 gpm capacity each, 300,000 gallon water tower, 11 pressure stations. Aero-Mod WWTP, 5 lift stations.


  • Deteriorated water system
  • Numerous water quality complaints
  • Low pressure in areas
  • Meet new permit requirements due to stream classification
  • Not enough water storage capacity


  • New water system
  • 11 pressure zone stations
  • Switched from an aerated lagoon to an activates sludge facility
  • Helped the city receive $500,000 in grants

Project Summary:

Elkader, IA became a client in December of 1989. Elkader is located in northeast Iowa and nestled in a very hilly area. In early 2003, the city began planning on water system improvements to replace their over 60-year-old water treatment plant and part of the distribution system. PeopleService worked closely with the engineering firm to help plan and design the new system. In December of 2005, the new system went on-line. The 2 million plus dollar project consisted of two new wells, new water treatment plant, new water storage tower, 11 pressure reducing stations, over 100 home pressure reducing valves, $400,000+ worth of water main replacement as well as numerous new valves and hydrants. Construction had to be phased in as the new and old system had to be integrated in order to provide water to all citizens. During construction of the water system improvements, the city, PeopleService, and engineers began plans for a sewer system improvement project to be started in 2006 to include numerous blocks of sanitary sewer replacement and new mains. Due to a flood and to avoid future concerns three of the lift stations have been replaced/rebuilt and one new one added. In 2010 the city of Elkader started up a new .800 MGD Aero-mod Activated Sludge Plant with a Siemens vertical UV unit being used for disinfection. The headwork’s room includes a Vulcan step screen, Vulcan grit chamber and Smith and Loveless grit classifier. During the upgrade project a lagoon cell was converted to a storm retention pond and another cell was converted to a sludge storage pond. The entire water and wastewater system is operated with a SCADA system.

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