SIOUX CITY, Iowa — The Iowa Natural Resources Department staff wants the state attorney general’s office to take civil action against Sioux City for illegal sewage discharges into the Missouri River over a more than three-year period.

The Sioux City Journal reports ( ) that a department litigation report says that because Sioux City didn’t properly disinfect its wastewater, the city was discharging wastewater high in bacteria. The department says the city violated several Iowa codes and federal permit conditions.

The city attorney didn’t immediately return a call Wednesday from The Associated Press. Officials have said two city employees tampered with samples at the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

The state attorney general can seek higher penalties than the Natural Resources Department. Its penalties are capped at $10,000.

Information from: Sioux City Journal,