Superintendent hired to run Eagle Grove’s new wastewater plant

EAGLE GROVE — The person who will oversee Eagle Grove’s new multi-million-dollar wastewater plant has been hired.

The Eagle Grove City Council approved Nathan Brockman as superintendent of the plant at its Aug. 20 meeting

Brockman, a native of Humboldt, will be paid a total compensation package of $65,000, according to Bryce Davis, city administrator.

Brockman was previously employed by the city of Eagle Grove.

He assisted at the wastewater plant and worked with the Street Department from May of 2007 to February of 2016.

After that, he went to work for the city of Huxley at its wastewater facility, where he earned his grade 4 operator’s license, Davis said.

According to Davis, a grade 4 license will be required to run Eagle Grove’s new plant.

“In order to get a grade 4 certification, you have to work at a grade 4 plant,” Davis said. “We are not a grade 4 plant. He had to move on. When this opportunity opened he showed enthusiasm. We interviewed some candidates, and he had the most diversified background and his knowledge base with the city was there, so that was an asset to his candidacy. He knows our infrastructure; he knows our town. He knows our people and has worked for the staff we currently have.”

He added, “It worked out well.”

Brockman will begin his duties on Monday.

“Our plant won’t go online until Nov. 1,” Davis said. “But he has a lot of information to learn about the equipment, manufacturers, contact information, the ability to speak with those contractors installing the equipment. He will be on site a lot, learning everything about the plant, where all the wires run and what they are connected to. He will also be assisting in our bid package for IT, so he can have some say in what has worked for him in the past and get a system he is comfortable with.”

Brockman, who was the superintendent of Huxley’s wastewater plant, will also be in charge of staffing Eagle Grove’s facility. Three more employees could be hired to work there, Davis said.

Davis said Brockman’s familiarity with Huxley’s plant is a benefit.

“He was running that plant, which is essentially very similar to the plant we are building,” Davis said. “There are some differences, but it’s very similar.”

Eagle Grove’s new facility is being built on 22 acres of land in the 1300 block of Southwest Ninth Street, near Eagle Grove’s existing wastewater plant. It will include the water reclamation plant, force main and lift station.

ISG, of Storm Lake, is the engineering firm for the project. Gridor Construction, of Buffalo, Minnesota, is the contractor for the reclamation plant. Denver Underground, of Denver, Iowa, is working on the force main. King Construction, of Wall Lake, is building the lift station.

The lift station will be able to accommodate wastewater flows from any future industrial development in the proximity of Prestage Foods of Iowa.

The contracted price for the new wastewater plant is just under $25 million.

Funding for the wastewater project came through the State Revolving Loan fund.

The city is contractually obligated to treat wastewater from the new Prestage Foods of Iowa pork plant. Prestage will pay the city for the wastewater it sends to the new facility.

Prestage is building its $300 million plant four miles south of Eagle Grove. The company will employ an estimated 1,050 workers when operations begin in November or December. The pork plant will be capable of processing 10,000 hogs per shift. About 600 million pounds of pork will be processed annually.

The wastewater will be pretreated at Prestage before being pumped through the force main to the new water reclamation facility.

The water plant will eventually treat municipal wastewater also, but that phase of the project will not be completed until November 2019, Davis said.

Once that phase is completed, the city’s current wastewater facility will be decommissioned. That plant is at least 45 years old.

The new system will use biological nutrient removal, which uses an oxidation ditch for removal of ammonia and biochemical oxygen demand.

It will have the capacity to treat an average of 4.15 million gallons per day.