Saturday , 25 March 2017


Tom Grunewald and Rick Rubenzer feel for cities and villages that have to meet stricter phosphorus limits set by the state Department of Natural Resources. Recently issued DNR permits will require municipalities to cut the phosphorus content of their wastewater treatment plants, in some cases as much as 10-fold, from 1 part-per-million to 0.1 ppm over the next eight to nine years. Grunewald, public works director for Boyd, said his village uses two seepage cells to treat water, and will not have to meet the new limits. For those plants that do, Grunewald said: “It’s going to be spendy.” He added, “I don’t know if some of these plants could meet that.” Rubenzer, the public works director for Chippewa Falls, said the city installed bio-phosphorus removal plant in 1996. The city is close to, but still under, the limit. “We have the Chippewa River as a relatively good receiving body,” Rubenzer said. Municipalities having difficulty meeting the stringent limits have the option of taking credit for other phosphorus reductions within the region in order to come into compliance.

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