Big upgrade underway at Little Falls wastewater treatment plant
27 Nov 2020
Infrastructure, Economic Development, Community, Government
Little Falls Public Works is doing its part to protect the environment with the help of a major change in the way it treats the city’s wastewater.
A $20 million upgrade to the wastewater treatment plant that began in April 2019 is about two-thirds of the way done and slated to be complete in September 2021. The result will be cleaner water coming out of the plant and into the Mississippi River.
Perhaps the key upgrade is that the new wastewater treatment process will remove phosphorus — a leading cause of algae blooms — from the outgoing water.
“All of this goes downstream to everybody that pulls water out of the Mississippi River,” said Little Falls Public Works Director Greg Kimman. “We want to do our part and protect that natural resource so that everybody has clean water to drink in the future.”
Part of that is done through a completely re-vamped disinfecting process. Prior to the upgrade, the wastewater treatment plant used chlorine as its main disinfectant, which was applied to the water just before it was pumped into the river. Now, a strong UV light will be used to penetrate the water and kill the microorganisms that are harmful to the ecosystem and water supply.
A total of about 1 to 1.2 million gallons of water passes through the treatment plant every day. It will be rated for 2.4 million gallons once the upgrades are complete.