North Liberty, IA

East Growth Area Utilities – Water and Sewer

  • Client City of North Liberty
  • Type Water
  • Services Planning, design, and construction administration
  • Construction Cost $4.9 Million
  • Project Manager John Gade, P.E.
  • Project Engineer Mitch Holtz, P.E.

A 2011 Sanitary Sewer Service Study done by FOX clearly revealed a critical need to provide sewer service to a future growth area east of the city. Proactive collection system planning made it possible to proceed with almost $5 million in improvements to sewer and water systems, paving the way for additional economic growth.

In August 2012, after an extensive selection process, North Liberty chose FOX for design and construction administration services for this large and critical sewer and water main project. During design, the city utilized water system studies and modeling done by FOX staff as a foundation for their decision to move forward with improvements to this growth area.


Routing a large trunk sewer through several well-developed properties. This called for negotiating alignment through dense trees, floodplains, wetlands, and areas of deep excavation. Added to that were rerouting and stabilization of stream alignments, trenchless pipe installations under roadways, and securing project approval from multiple stakeholders. The project required easements from 13 separate property owners of which 12 were agreed upon; the thirteenth proved to be time-consuming.


Residents were kept informed weekly via emails that provided an overview of construction progress, a forecast of the next week’s potential work schedule, and any precautionary measures they may need to take that week.

The level of communication by the FOX team was well received by residents and business owners who appreciated being informed; it provided the ability to plan.

Staff and council were also very appreciative – there were fewer questions from the public and they, too, can be proactive with their planning.


Growth has been rapid for North Liberty, and it can continue. North Liberty is ready. Restoration of the disturbed stream channel was successfully completed; control measures were installed in the stream, including check dams, rock riffles, and concrete culvert crossings. These control measures improve the stream by reducing water velocity, reducing channel down-cutting, and adding air to the stream water. Several stream banks were improved with permanent turf reinforcement matting with vegetation or stone which reduces bank erosion. The city has been pleased with the work done by FOX; at their request, FOX began planning for the West Growth Area utilities in fall 2018.