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Estherville generated less waste in 2017

March 22, 2018
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

Wastewater treatment is no one's favorite topic, but it's an unpleasant situation when it's not going well.

Jeff Kautz, wastewater superintendent for the city of Estherville, reported on the 488,175,000 gallons of raw sewage treated at the city's plant in 2017. The number represents a decrease of 73 million gallons from the previous year.

Kautz said one large project for the department was the sanitary sewer collapse in the summer of 2017 on the 600 block of Central Avenue. The department replaced 190 feet of 12 inch pipe.

Kautz said the department is focused on serving residential customers. "If we get a call, we'll go out and jet the sewer for that residents and make sure it's open, clear and flowing."

Often the cause of a sewer backup is not on the city's side, Kautz said. In 2017, the 18 total sewer calls were the city's problem in only 11 percent of the cases, while 16 of the 18 calls had a cause outside the city's purview.

City administrator Penny Clayton said one thing that sets Estherville apart from cities of its size and even some larger ones is the fact that both Kautz and chief operator Ian Schmitz are Grade IV certified in wastewater treatment.

"This is practically unheard of, and is a great boon for our city," Clayton said.

Kautz said, 'We take a lot of pride in protecting water quality and the environment."



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