Riverside, Iowa

  • Population: 1,022
  • Employees: 2
  • Wells: 2
  • Reservoir: 500,000 gallon
  • Water Towers: 1
  • Lift Stations: 5
  • Administration Buildings: 1
  • Treatment Units: 3

Creative Solution Saves Thousands
Unused Lagoon Gets Repurposed

Problem Diagnosis

When the University of Iowa’s (U of I) utility was purchased by Engie Energy, they inherited a problem with lime sludge – the waste product of softening lime before discharge into the Iowa River. The company previously contracted by U of I to hold and dry the sludge wanted a hefty price increase to continue doing the job. Engie Energy had already paid the State of Iowa $1.1 billion to provide water for the area, so additional costs did not sit well. The IDNR was not willing to grant Engie Energy a storage and drying facility, so they needed a solution. This is when PeopleService was brought in.
When a former PeopleService operator was asked who to turn to, he mentioned our name and recommend us for our ability to brainstorm solutions.


When faced with the problem it occurred to PeopleService, who has partnered with the City of Riverside, Iowa for years, that there are available lagoons that we manage and maintain for the city that just may be the solution. One was available to serve as a sludge discharge and drying area.
Lead Operator Bill Stukey, who manages the Riverside plant, presented the solution to the City Council who, incidentally, had set aside $90,000 for a lift station replacement that was estimated to cost $135,000. The opportunity in working with Engie Energy was to generate revenue to fill the gap and accelerate the addition of the station.
With Council approval, PeopleService obtained the necessary permits, wrote the contract and interviewed engineers for collaboration on the project. Engie Energy paid to pave a road to the lagoon and pays the City of Riverside $35,000 per year to take the sludge, with a $2,000 per year up to a $50,000 cap. Plus, PeopleService coordinates with Engie’s contractors to remove any remaining biosolids and lime sludge once per year at Engie’s cost.

The POWER of PeopleService

Here’s what happens at PeopleService: Our family culture cultivates mutual respect and trust such that, even on the rare occasion when people leave us for an opportunity they want to pursue, they still recommend us when they know we can help. This is exactly what happened here and a solution for one became a solution for many. Lime sludge in central Iowa is being handled efficiently and effectively. The City of Riverside – and its citizens – will enjoy an upgraded lift station. All because a former employee knew we had the knowledge, experience and bench strength to bring forth a creative solution to a problem.

Water System

Water is produced by two (2) water wells and pumped to a 1.2 m.g.d. reverse osmosis treatment plant consisting of an administration building, three (3) skid-mounted reverse osmosis membrane treatment units (with space for a fourth train), chemical feed equipment, storage systems, laboratory facilities and an electrical/instrumentation control room. The facility also includes a 500,000-gallon cast-in-place concrete finished water reservoir with vertical turbine type high service pumps for pumping the finished water into the distribution system including the one (1) elevated water storage tower. The distribution system consists of mains of various sizes, water valves and fire hydrants. The treatment plant is equipped with backup power capability. On the Effective Date of this Agreement this system is covered by permit PWSID #9260090, issued by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and effective July 31, 2014.

Wastewater System

The wastewater collection system consists of various sizes of interceptor mains and includes five (5) lift stations. The wastewater flows to an SBE (sequential batch reactor) treatment plant which is designed to treat average dry weather flow of 0.444 m.g.d. The five-day biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) loading design is 1,455 lbs/day and the TKN loading is 422 lbs/day. On the Effective Date of this Agreement this system is covered by NPDES permit #9260001, issued by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and effective October 2, 2009.

To learn more about this case study and all the services PeopleService provides, talk to Chris McMillen at 877-774-4311 or CMcMillen@PeopleService.com.

“The City of Riverside has partnered with PeopleService since 2016. Our operator, Bill Stukey has been the driving force in developing this into a very successful partnership. He has been very active in getting to know our community and wants the best for our citizens. Riverside is confident that our water and wastewater are taken care of with quality and care and our local team of Bill and Ben have access to the extensive PeopleService network to keep the city up to date. They anticipate issues, collaborate on challenges and bring us opportunities to keep both the water and wastewater plants running smoothly and efficiently. Thank you PeopleService, and especially Bill and Ben, for making this partnership a success!”

– Christine Yancey
City Administrator
Riverside, Iowa

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