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Ex-Worker Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy

He faces up to seven years in prison.

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SIOUX CITY, IOWA (AP) โ€” A former worker at Sioux City's wastewater treatment plant has pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to tamper with wastewater sampling and testing.

The Sioux City Journal reports that 69-year-old Patrick Schwarte entered the plea Wednesday in federal court.

He faces up to seven years in prison when he's sentenced at a later date for conspiracy to defraud the government and falsifying information required under the federal Clean Water Act.

Prosecutors say chlorine was added to wastewater on days that E. coli samples were taken. The samples then showed plant discharges into the Missouri River met federal limits for levels of fecal coliform and E. coli.

The chlorine was reduced after the tests, saving the city money.

The city fired Schwarte and the plant superintendent in June 2015 after the Iowa Natural Resources Department began an investigation.

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