Evaluation of Wastewater Nitrogen and Estrogen Treatment Options

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
U of MN
Recipient Type
Public College/University
In Progress
Start Date
July 2014
End Date
June 2018
Counties Affected
Project Overview

Wastewater treatment plants discharge effluent that contains contaminants of emerging concern, such as estrogens. Estrogens have been shown to cause ecological effects such as fish feminization and fish population collapses. Presently the treatment and discharge of estrogens into the environment via wastewater treatment is not regulated. However, it has been found that the extent of estrogen discharge from wastewater treatment correlates with how and how well nitrogen, which currently is regulated and will likely be more so in the future, is removed during the treatment process. Thus more effective nitrogen removal processes have the potential to also ensure more effective removal of estrogens. Researchers at the University of Minnesota are using this appropriation to determine how different nitrogen removal processes perform under a variety of weather conditions with respect to how well they remove both nitrogen and estrogenic compounds in order to help improve wastewater treatment of nitrogen and estrogenic compounds.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2014, Chp. 226, Sec. 2, Subd. 03d
Appropriation Language

$500,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to examine the performance of new wastewater contaminant treatment options under Minnesota weather conditions in order to understand how to improve wastewater treatment of nitrogen and estrogenic compounds, decrease costs and energy use, and safeguard aquatic species. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2017, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Number of full time equivalents funded
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on Work Plan under Project Details.

Measurable Outcome(s)

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Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
U of MN
Street Address
500 Pillsbury Dr SE, 122 Civil Engineering Bldg
Zip Code
(612) 626-9846
Administered By
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