Repairs to Clarifiers are Needed at Western Lake Superior Sanitary District

DULUTH, Minn.  The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (W-L-S-S-D) is asking the Minnesota state legislature for millions of dollars to fix some components that treat our wastewater.

Raw sewage was being dumped into the St. Louis River until the 1970s, heavily polluting the waterway. Since then, W-L-S-S-D has been treating the sewage using four clarifiers that separate the solids and keeps it out of the river.

However this past October, they discovered the center well pipe which brings the sewage into a clarifier had collapsed and had to be shut down.
Emergency repairs have been made, but an inspection of the other three clarifiers showed that they have the same type of problem and need significant repairs.
The price tag fixes all four clarifiers is 35 million dollars, and W-L-S-S-D is asking the Capital Investment Committee of the Minnesota House to cover half the cost.

“Our ask to the state is for half of the cost of renovating all four of the clarifiers, which includes the center well and the very important concrete rehabilitation work that needs to happen,” said Marianne Bohren, the executive director of W-L-S-S-D. The other 17.5 million dollars for the repairs will come from a 15-year bonding plan the W-L-S-S-D will cover.

The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District treats nearly 14 Billion gallons of waste each year from 16 communities in a 530-square-mile radius.

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