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DELHI, Iowa (AP) — A group of University of Iowa students presented possible solutions to a wastewater treatment issue at a lake in eastern Iowa.

Engineering students with the university’s Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities offered design options to Delaware County officials, the Telegraph Herald reported . The findings aim to help Delhi home septic systems meet state code.

Travis Kraus, assistant director of the university initiative, said that the program pairs students with cities or organizations to help with ongoing projects.

“Working with a community like Delhi can both benefit the community and the student,” Kraus said. “Students want to do better when they know their work isn’t just hypothetical.”

Lake Delhi drained in 2010 after powerful storms caused a dam breach. Iowa covered the dam reconstruction costs, as long as the city ensured its septic systems complied with state code by 2020.

County Sanitarian Dennis Lyons said a city wastewater treatment facility was too costly, so officials opted to have homeowners update their own septic systems. He said homeowners who don’t comply will be fined. About two-thirds of Delhi homes already meet state code, according to Lyons.

The students presented three septic system options that would cost between $10,000 and $34,000 and vary in effectiveness.

Lyons said the students’ proposals were similar to county officials’.

“It’s definitely been good to have someone else look at the issue, so we know that we’re exploring all our options,” Lyons said. “It’s definitely going to help us going forward.”


Information from: Telegraph Herald,