Jake Judd | Mar 15, 2019 AT 5:44 pm
Photo: Jake Judd (KNSI)
(KNSI) – The Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency say St. Cloud’s wastewater treatment plant is a model for the rest of the state.
Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says the St. Cloud facility speaks for its self.
“I was really eager to see this facility, I’ve heard so much about it as being just a cutting-edge example of an integrated approach that all of our communities need to take.”
Pollution Control Commissioner Laura Bishop was impressed after seeing the plant Friday morning.
“This one is probably tip top is what I’d say. With their investments in solar as well as their conversation of biomass is really quite remarkable.”
She says the governor’s budget proposals includes $67 million so, other communities could do what St. Cloud has done.
Since 2010, St. Cloud has put more than $30 million into making the plant energy efficient, installing solar panels and updating the system to turn wastewater into fertilizer.
The money from selling the fertilizer and the energy savings has helped pay for the improvements without raising water rates.
The plant gets its waste water from St. Cloud, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, Waite Park, St. Joseph and St. Augusta.
The wastewater facility hopes to be carbon free or have a gain of net zero by 2020.
St. Cloud produces drinking water for itself and St. Augusta. St. Cloud was voted best water in Minnesota in 2011 and 2016.