Wastewater and Biosolids
Wastewater from homes, businesses and industries throughout the WLSSD service area flows to the regional wastewater treatment plant through a 75-mile network of interceptor sewers.
Since beginning operations in 1978, the plant has consistently produced a high-quality effluent for discharge to the St. Louis River. In the 1990s, WLSSD began to phase out incineration of sewage sludge and began treating sewage sludge to produce biosolids approved for application on farm land. In 2001, a modern biosolids processing facility opened and WLSSD began applying all its biosolids on nearby farm fields and taconite tailings as a fertilizer and soil amendment.
WLSSD works with local businesses to monitor industrial discharges and provides public pollution prevention education to help residents reduce their environmental impacts.
Current challenges in the WLSSD service area include addressing Inflow and Infiltration to reduce the chance for sewer overflows. WLSSD has developed a detailed 12-year Plan of Action to address needed improvements to the sewer collection system to prevent future problems.
The area served by the regional WLSSD wastewater collection system is defined by the District's Wastewater Services Master Plan. Proposed expansions of the system are evaluated by the District for consistency with local and regional development plans. All extensions of the system require review and approval by WLSSD and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.