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Stay current with our monthly e-newsletter featuring project updates, industry insights, and more.

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Client Name
City of Panora
Client Type
Project Type
Services Provided
  • As-builts
  • Construction Administration
  • Construction Observation
  • Construction Staking
  • Environmental Permitting
  • Funding Assistance
  • Public Engagement & Meeting Facilitation
  • Treatment Facility Design
  • Treatment Process Design
  • Water System Analysis & Planning
Project Manager
Contact Darin Jacobs, PE
Water Resources Group Leader

Source Water Characteristics Prompt Water Study

Utilizing a surface water treatment facility, the City of Panora, Iowa treats challenging source water characteristics. Most notably, variable water quality, high nitrate concentrations, and periodic taste and odor issues from organic material were problematic.

In 2008, Snyder & Associates began working with the City of Panora to develop cost-effective solutions for their water treatment challenges. In doing so, we prepared a source water study that analyzed the city’s current water source, the Middle Raccoon River, and compared its viability to other available water source alternatives. The study concluded the most cost-effective alternative was to continue using the Middle Raccoon River as a water source and make improvements to the existing treatment plant to address the river’s variable water quality.

Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Process Addition

In 2009, we developed a facility plan that analyzed all aspects of Panora’s water system. The facility plan included recommendations for phased improvements to the city’s drinking water system that included adding a reverse osmosis water treatment process to their existing facility.

From 2010 to 2011, a reverse osmosis system pilot study was conducted on a reduced scale. Upon completion of the study, we prepared a report that received approval from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for the design of a full-scale reverse osmosis treatment system expansion.

A new diesel engine generator was also added to provide emergency power to the facility, and the plant’s gravity filter media was replaced with new media, including an activated carbon cap to control taste and odor. Upon completion of construction, we provided operational guidance and helped the city effectively incorporate the improvements into their existing process.

From preliminary facility planning to the operation of constructed improvements, extensive services were provided to the city including:

  • Design of the reverse osmosis treatment system addition
  • Financial assistance to obtain a Community Development Block Grant and State Revolving Fund Loans for both design and construction
  • Application and receipt of Iowa DNR and Army Corps of Engineers construction and floodplain permit documents
  • Bidding of the project to contractors
  • Construction administration

The system is now capable of controlling chemical contaminants that present a threat to public health and produces a higher quality of water for the city. Cost-effective improvements to the existing water treatment facility were implemented to avoid increased costs associated with constructing an entirely new treatment plant.