Wastewater Treatment Facility Expansion
In a 4-1 decision, the Foley City Council approved the city’s Wastewater Treatment Facility Plan during the April 2, 2019, council meeting. The next step is for the City to submit the approved facility plan to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
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.
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:
- Expanding the existing lagoon or pond system
- Building a new mechanical plant
- Sending wastewater out to another larger entity, like St. Cloud for treatment
- 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.