Ground Will Be Broken Thursday On New Waupun Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade

(Waupun) The ground will be broken Thursday on a $36-million-dollar wastewater treatment plant upgrade in Waupun. The Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Natural Resources are requiring waterfront communities like Waupun to place strict limits on the phosphorus that is released into local waterways, in this case the Rock River by 2025. The recommended process to meet the requirements is an Advanced Biological Nutrient Recovery System, or ABNR. The system uses algae to uptake phosphorus from the wastewater and then processes the phosphorus-rich algae into an algae-based biomass that can be sold for a profit. The biomass will be sold as an industrial feedstock to offset some ABNR system expenses, with an initial customer planning to produce insoles from the dried algae. The project is funded through a USDA $28-million-dollar loan and an $8-million-dollar grant. Work is slated to begin May 6th and the upgraded facility is expected to be fully operational in 2023.