Bayfield gets grant for zero-discharge
Business North (MN and WI)
Published November 29th, 2004
BAYFIELD, Wis. -- Governor Jim Doyle announced today
that Bayfield and Pikes Bay Sanitary District will receive
a $500,000 state grant to build a new state-of-the-art
wastewater treatment plant that will virtually remove
all pollutants from wastewater before releasing it into
The "zero discharge" plant will be the first
in Wisconsin designed to perform at a level significantly
exceeding state and federal standards. While not technically
eliminating all pollutants, the plant is expected to release
wastewater containing nearly 70 percent less pollutants
than a conventional plant.
"I am pleased to help support Bayfield-area residents
in their commitment to protect Lake Superior," Governor
Doyle said. "They have, through choosing to build
and operate this new plant, volunteered to clean wastewater
significantly beyond what state standards require. I hope
the communities' example will spur similar efforts to
protect our Greatest Lake."
George Hansen, president of the Pikes Bay Sanitary District,
said that one of the reasons the two communities came
together to build the plant "is we live on one of
the greatest lakes in the world, and it is important to
maintain the water quality and the environmental aspects
of Lake Superior."
They also wanted to capitalize on available state and
federal funding and the opportunity to jointly own and
operate their wastewater treatment plant, Hansen said.
In addition to the $500,000 Great Lakes Protection Fund
grant from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR),
the communities will receive grants and zero or low interest
loans from the Clean Water Fund that DNR administers,
and a grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
"It's a win-win," said Bayfield Mayor John-Eric
Anderson. "Itís a great indication of how well the
state and the communities can work together to develop
a better product. It's helping the whole Bayfield Peninsula
have a much better plant and thereby provide even better
protection for Lake Superior."
Eliminating releases of pollutants to Lake Superior is
particularly important because pollutants can remain in
that lake for a long time, according to Chuck Ledin, who
leads DNR's Office of Great Lakes. Water flows very slowly
out of Lake Superior, the largest and deepest of the Great
Lakes. Water remains in the lake for 191 years, compared
to 99 years for Lake Michigan and 2.5 years for Lake Erie.
As a result, contaminants in Lake Superior water and sediment
can accumulate in the food chain, causing elevated contaminant
levels in fish and wildlife and triggering consumption
advisories, Ledin said.
Bayfield and Pikes Bay worked together with DNR and Strand
Associates Inc., a Madison civil engineering firm, to
design the new regional facility and the communities have
formed a new commission to manage it.
The new wastewater treatment plant will replace two existing
treatment facilities two miles apart. It will serve the
Pikes Bay Sanitary District, which includes the eastern
portion of the Town of Bayfield, and the City of Bayfield,
and will be sized to handle a population of about 1,600
people and treat about 300,000 gallons per day of wastewater.
The plant will use an innovative filtering technology
in addition to the conventional treatment units to reduce
the amount of solids and organic materials in wastewater.
The plant will eliminate most nitrogen and phosphorus
and will provide an effective disinfection system to protect
public health, Ledin said.
In addition to its superior wastewater treatment, the
plant also incorporates other technology to reduce its
impact on the environment, including reducing energy usage,
Ledin said. Construction of the new facility is underway
and the plant should start operating in early 2006.