Next Generation Large-Scale Septic Tank Systems

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
Start Date
July 2014
End Date
June 2017
Counties Affected
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2014, Chp. 226, Sec. 2, Subd. 08g
Appropriation Language

$258,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to develop a dual utility large-scale septic tank system designed for nutrient recuperation, bioenergy generation, and environmental protection using a bio-electrochemical system. This appropriation is subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10. 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)

Click on Work Plan under Project Details.

Project Overview

Septic tank systems aim to treat sewage generated by homes and facilities that do not have access to centralized wastewater treatment plants. Currently 25% of the U.S. population relies on these systems as their primary means of wastewater treatment. However, the treatment capabilities of these systems are limited and so byproducts can contribute to degradation of water resources and other environmental problems and the systems emit instead of collect powerful greenhouse gases such as methane. Additionally, the systems are actually an untapped source for recovering nutrients for other uses. Researchers at the University of Minnesota are using this appropriation to develop, test, and evaluate technologies to improve large-scale septic systems to be more effective and capable of capturing valuable nutrients from the waste stream and generating bioenergy. The technologies could be integrated into existing septic tank systems and the information will be helpful to wastewater professionals in designing next generation septic systems.

Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
U of MN
Street Address
1390 Eckles Ave
St. Paul
Zip Code
(612) 625-4215