In the wake of historic flooding, Iowa legislators are exploring wastewater solutions for some 600 towns statewide that lack sewers. Currently the state provides grants to bring about a dozen new sewer systems online each year, but building a system without such a grant would add about $120 to a homeowner's monthly utility bill. Lawmakers are further concerned that an expensive overhaul planned for the storm-water system in Des Moines will siphon off funds that would otherwise go to smaller communities.

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