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Aerial view of municipal water treatment plant in Maxwell, Iowa consisting of two lagoons and service buildings outside of city limits in a rural agricultural community

Maxwell, IA Wastewater Treatment Plant


A small community in rural Story County, IA


Maxwell, IA


BOD, TSS, Ammonia treatment


LBTP Lagoon Wastewater Treatment


The town of Maxwell, IA needed a new wastewater treatment plant in their community.  The small community of just 859 people was faced with the decision to upgrade or replace its existing system.  The town was searching for an economical yet high-performing treatment solution that was easy to operate that would also serve the area’s growth and demands for many years to come.  With significant variations in seasonal flow and large temperature fluctuations, they determined an advanced treatment lagoon approach was needed.


Perhaps the biggest challenge faced in this application was the significantly high design loading requirements for the plant.  With a typical lagoon system, this would prove to be a difficult task. The effluent requirements for the community were 30 MG/L (BOD/TSS) and NH3 limits at 1.2 MG/L (Summer) and 3.0 MG/L (Winter). The system needed to operate effectively, especially in the winter months when the average low in January is 9° F.  All components needed to be reliable and require little to no maintenance. Access to all equipment had to be fast and simple with as few moving parts and components as possible.


The LemTec™ Biological Treatment Process was a perfect fit for their application. A parallel two-pond configuration was designed.  Both lagoons consisted of three Partial Mix Cells and a Settling Cell separated by Hydraulic Baffles. 

By covering both lagoons with the LemTec™ Insulated Modular Cover, the operating temperatures of the lagoons were now able to stabilize in the winter months. That allowed for maintaining conditions conducive to nitrification and enhancing kinetic rates. Blocking sunlight, eliminating surface disturbances and wave action prevented algae growth in the ponds bringing their TSS levels down dramatically.

The low TSS and warm pond temperatures were a perfect setup for the Lemna Polishing Reactor™ that was installed downstream for further BOD polishing and ammonia removal.


The Lemna solution provided high-quality treatment of wastewater for this community. The LBTP installed in Maxwell is an effective, reliable, and affordable aerated lagoon-based biological treatment process capable of achieving year-round effluent limits as low as 10 mg/l BOD, 10 mg/l TSS, and 1 mg/l NH3-N at a fraction of the cost of a mechanical system.

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