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October 8, 2014

Plant Profile: Western Lake Superior Sanitary District WWTF

Plant Profile: Western Lake Superior Sanitary District WWTF Header Image

The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) wastewater treatment facility is the featured Plant Profile in the Fall 2014 issue of the “Central States Water” magazine. The WLSSD was established in 1971 and has a cultivated a reputation for innovative pollution prevention strategies while serving 17 Duluth area communities and four large industrial customers on the western edge of Lake Superior.

The facility is a High Purity Oxygen Activated Sludge system designed to treat 48 million gallons of wastewater per day (mgd) with a peak hydraulic capacity of 160 mgd. Approximately 50% of the plant influent flow and load is industrial, primarily from the pulp and paper industry.

As discussed in the article, energy is at the core of WLSSD’s greatest past innovations and greatest present challenges. The District and Donohue recently collaborated to develop an Energy Master Plan that outlines near-term and long-term actions to conserve energy and generate energy. The plan will help facilitate a stepwise process towards energy self-sufficiency. This journey towards energy independence is consistent with the national movement for wastewater utilities: shifting from net energy resource consumers to energy producers.

Donohue has assisted with various other projects at the facility, including the design of improvements for biogas conditioning and main campus heating, preliminary treatment, sodium hypochlorite facilities, and high speed turbo (HST) blowers. Various other planning studies have addressed oxygen production efficiency, screw pump performance, pump station debris handling, and sludge thickening.

To read the full article in “Central States Water” magazine, go to page 24 at www.cswea.org/magazine/CS_Fall2014_RICH.pdf

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