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Phosphorus reduction plan starts PDF Print E-mail
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Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 05 July 2017 17:16

Village working to meet new state wastewater discharge standard, but final cost is unknown


The Village of Belgium last month approved an agreement with an engineering firm to help meet a new phosphorus requirement regarding discharges from its wastewater treatment system.
The cost estimate from McMahon and Associates of Neenah is $10,000, but that’s just for a compliance plan required by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
“Ultimately, after this study we have to start getting a design on a plan on how we’re going to approach this,” village Wastewater Supt. Paul Bley said.
The village must meet a certain phosphorus level because of where its wastewater gets discharged and ultimately what stream it reaches, Bley said. Belgium’s wastewater flows into Belgium Holland Creek, a tributary of the Onion River.
The Wisconsin Pollution Discharge Elimination System, a program run by the DNR, issued a new phosphorus limit of .0075 milligrams per liter in 2013, as well as a schedule to comply with the new standard.
The limit, according to McMahon, is based on water quality set for the Onion River. Phosphorus concentration currently exceeds that limit in the river.
“Some places are different than others. We have a higher standard than Cedar Grove because of where the water goes. Each community is a little bit different,” Bley said.
The village’s discharge permit expires in September 2018. The compliance schedule and alternatives plan is due Sept. 30 of this year as part of a few-step process to receive another permit.
“Each year you have to do so much work toward this,” Bley said.
A preliminary plan indicates the village may seek an extension to comply with the new phosphorus limit, according to McMahon.
The Village Board will ultimately have to decide how it wants to proceed from different options McMahon will provide, Bley said.
“There’s no financial figures to that yet,” Bley said. “There are a few different options.”
The village does not need to have adjustments completed to its wastewater treatment by September 2018, but a plan needs to be in place.
“There’s time we have to obtain the ultimate goal,” Bley said. “It’s years before the full implementation yet.”

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