A former shift supervisor at Sioux City’s wastewater treatment plant has been sentenced on federal charges for his role in conspiring to rig environmental testing at the facility.
71-year-old Patrick Schwarte from Sioux City pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of knowingly falsifying, tampering with, and rendering inaccurate a monitoring device or method required to be maintained under the Clean Water Act.
Prosecutors say Schwarte and the plant Superintendent, tampered with the monitoring methods there from July 2012 through June of 2015 to ensure the plant would pass all of its tests.
On testing days for bacteria, Schwarte and the Superintendent instructed operators to increase the rate of liquid chlorine supplied to the wastewater. from about 2 and a half gallons per hour, to 70 to 120 gallons per hour, for up to two hours.
The engineering firm that designed the liquid chlorine feed system at the plant estimated that approximately 16.7 gallons of chlorine would need to be fed per hour to properly kill bacteria.
Schwarte was sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Leonard Strand to two years probation, including two months of home confinement, and fined $5,000.