Southeast MN Wastewater Initiative
Accelerated Implementation Grant 2016: Laws of MN 2015 First Special Session Chapter 2, Article 7, Section 7
This project will result in the continuation of the Southeast Minnesota Wastewater Initiative to provide technical assistance to help 5 small communities upgrade their sewage treatment systems, eliminating up to 156,600 gallons of untreated sewage per day
LOCAL LEVERAGED FUNDS
The lack of sewage treatment in many small communities in Southeast Minnesota is causing surface water and groundwater pollution. Fourteen of these small communities will receive technical assistance provided by this project. These communities have community or individual straight pipes which are discharging raw sewage directly to the environment, surfacing sewage, or have sewage contaminating groundwater. Working closely with county staff, local elected officials and the MPCA, two staff will provide a wide range of technical assistance to help these small communities follow the many steps needed to upgrade their sewage treatment systems. These steps include forming community task forces, studying the large number of sewage treatment system options, applying for and pursuing funding, forming sewer districts, preparing ordinances, and developing operation and management plans. The Southeast Minnesota Wastewater Initiative approach, combining education, facilitation, and technical assistance has been used successfully for twelve years in Southeast Minnesota and has helped twenty-two communities upgrade their sewage treatment systems, eliminating 317,290 gallons of untreated sewage per day from entering the Lower Mississippi River and Cedar River Basins (115 million gallons per year!). With the assistance provided by this project, a goal of five communities will construct new community sewage treatment systems, which will eliminate approximately 156,600 gallons of untreated sewage per day from entering the Lower Mississippi River and Cedar River Basins (57 million gallons per year). An additional nine communities will receive technical assistance to begin or continue their projects to upgrade their sewage treatment systems. These projects will make significant progress towards the achievement of the Lower Mississippi River Basin TMDL for Fecal Coliform Bacteria and the goals of county water plans in Southeast Minnesota.