Wastewater Treatment Facility Expansion

Wastewater Treatment Facility Expansion

Foley MN Lagoons

The City of Foley’s wastewater plant has reached capacity. In a 4-1 decision, the Foley City Council approved the city’s Wastewater Treatment Facility Plan during the April 2, 2019, council meeting.

 

Wastewater Project Update 12-23-20

The Wastewater Treatment Facility Plan calls for a pipe to run from Foley to the regional treatment facility in St. Cloud. The project is currently on track for construction to start late summer or Fall of 2021 with completion in 2022.

City staff is working on funding applications. Foley received $8 million in direct appropriation in the state bonding bill in late 2020 and is eligible to receive up to $7 million in a Point Source Implementation Grant (PSIG).  In addition, we are working on other applications to ensure we get as much funding as possible.  The City will also work with the Public Facilities Authority (PFA) to set up financing for the remaining project costs.

City staff is also planning for a rate study and will begin that process in early 2021. The study will examine our trunk, WAC/SAC fees as well as water/sewer rates. This is a significant undertaking as we need to be certain our rate structure is adequately charging to fund our user fees to St. Cloud and additional capital needs to maintain and grow our own local infrastructure. We will also be studying the switch to a monthly billing system and hope to incorporate that process in 2022.

Lastly, fiber conduit is being planned to be run along with the forcemain. This is a partnership project we are undertaking because of the ability to leverage the work already being done. It is much more cost effective to lay the conduit now along with the forcemain than separately. It is hoped the new fiber conduit will greatly improve internet services to Foley and the surrounding area.

Tentative Schedule

Task                                                     Anticipated Completion Date

Preliminary Design                               February 2021

Final Design                                         Late Spring 2021

Easement Acquisition                          Summer 2021

Bidding Services                                  Summer 2021

Construction                                        Fall 2022

 


Wastewater Facility Plan Draft
The Wastewater Treatment Facility Plan is a required document of the MPCA (MN Pollution Control Agency). This document gives an overview of the existing conditions and also explores multiple options for expansion. 

 

You can read the full, newly approved Wastewater Treatment Facility Plan (April 12, 2019).

 


What is a wastewater treatment facility?
Any water that flows down a drain or gets flushed by a toilet is wastewater and must be treated and returned to the environment. A wastewater treatment facility is needed to convert wastewater into environmentally safe water. The process of treating and returning wastewater to the environment is handled by the wastewater treatment facility. The needed funds for the facility and infrastructure are generated through the “sewer” portion of your quarterly water/sewer bill.

Why should city residents and business owners be concerned about a wastewater expansion in Foley?
The City is currently at capacity with our wastewater plant. We were able to reduce usage with the city’s Inflow & Infiltration (I&I) project, but volume has increased again due to residential and commercial business expansion. In order to grow Foley, we need to come up with a plan to expand our wastewater treatment facility.

What is Foley doing to expand its wastewater treatment facility?
The City Council authorized the creation of a facility plan in 2017. This is a planning document created by city staff that the MN Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) requires. The document examines the existing conditions of the city’s wastewater treatment facility and the potential treatment options and costs for expanding the facility.

What options are the City of Foley considering for wastewater expansion?
The City is currently considering four options:

  1. Expanding the existing lagoon or pond system
  2. Building a new mechanical plant
  3. Sending wastewater out to another larger entity, like St. Cloud for treatment
  4. A combination of all of the above

Why is the facility plan taking so long and when will we know the results?
The facility plan is taking longer than expected due to additional requirements from the MPCA such as anti-degradation. Foley must undertake a legal process to attempt to achieve the most cost-effective treatment options for the community. The City must consider both infrastructure and operational costs when making the final decision on how to expand. The anti-degradation process must be completed before the facility plan can be finalized.

How much is this going to cost me as a taxpayer?
The City is uncertain of the final cost of the wastewater treatment expansion at this time, but we do anticipate the project to cost several million dollars. The City is considering all sorts of financing options, including state grant programs and low interest loans in order to finalize the expansion.