The annexation of a portion of the eastern side of Big Creek Lake has been approved and sanitary sewer water from the east side of the lake will soon be drained through Polk City.

The annexed land extends from Polk City’s northern corporate limits up to just north of NW 142nd Avenue. The east-west boundaries span from the lake’s edge east to the edge of the Big Creek State Park boundaries.

Currently, sanitary sewer water from the nearby marina area and restrooms is collected in a lagoon on the lake’s east side near NW 142nd Avenue. Without the annexation, sanitary sewer water collected in the lagoon cannot be drained through Polk City. This is because Polk City belongs to the Wastewater Reclamation Authority (WRA), and the only waste that can be contributed to the WRA sanitary sewer system must come from within belonging city’s limits.

Now that the annexation has been approved, the state is working on construction plans to enable the water to be drained through the city.

Polk City City Administrator Gary Mahannah said if the annexation of the land had not been approved, additional lagoons may have been needed in the future to hold the waste or the size of the current lagoon would need to be increased. A concern with more waste storage was the increased chance of unpleasant odors wafting down to the city.

The annexation was approved by the Secretary of the State of Iowa at the end of last month. When discussing the annexation in April, Mahannah anticipated the approval process would take at least three months.

"We thought it would be more of a process, but it didn’t turn out that way," Mahannah said.

The news of the approved annexation was received positively by the Polk City City Council, he said.

Ownership of the annexed land will remain the same, with all but an approximately 120-acre parcel of land owned by the federal government. The State of Iowa owns the small parcel of land. Annexing the land will create cost savings for the state, since the water will be sent through Polk City. No costs will be incurred by Polk City residents.