Fixing Minnesota’s Polluted Water Sources
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is hoping to receive funds for new water treatment facilities
MOORHEAD, MN — Each year, 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, storm water, and industrial waste are dumped into U.S. lakes, rivers and streams.
Water is one of Minnesota’s most abundant and precious resources.
That means it’s up to us as a community to make sure it stays clean.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency met with Moorhead city officials and wastewater treatment facility staff to discuss concerns surrounding our polluted water and what we need to do to fix it.
“They’re not dealing with toxins or things like that,” said Andy Bradshaw, who is Moorhead’s operations manger. “It’s more long-term water quality effects and things like that.”
“The vast majority of the need is driven by just old wastewater systems,” said Commissioner John Stine with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. “There were pipes put in the ground pumps and treatment plants that were built in the depression era and the 1980s.”
They say it’s time to stop living in the past and it’s time to get the ball rolling on new treatment facilities.
“It’s been going on for a few years,” said Bradshaw.
However, it’s a change they can’t fix on their own.
“There’s some new legislation that’s looking to address these issues,” said Bradshaw.
“The legislation is in session and there’s a bond request from Governor Dayton for $160 million to help support both drinking water and waste water treatment facilities,” said Stine.
The funds will go towards restoring all of the impaired water quality throughout the state.
“Installing better treatment things that remove more nutrients,” said Stine. “Nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen. Things that make algae grow on the water. Things that can pollute our rivers and lakes.”
They say that they hope today’s meeting will spark a change in Minnesota’s water that the community both deserves and needs.
“It’s important because we live in a state that values clean water and all Minnesotans love their lakes and their streams,” said Stine.
In Minnesota, it’s estimated that about $11 billion is needed over the next 20 years for drinking water and waste water treatment.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has approximately 20 days to hear back from the legislation session on whether or not they will receive their wastewater treatment funding.