Wastewater Treatment

Mission Statement

To protect human health and safeguard the waters of the state, for the benefit of its residents, by treating its wastewater in compliance with state and federal rules and regulations.

Tours

Wastewater staff is available for individual or groups tours. If you are interested in touring the New Ulm Wastewater Treatment Plant, please contact our office.

Plant History

The original wastewater plant was located at the 20th Street lift station. This plant was in operation from 1940 to 1976 which is now used for preliminary treatment, including bar screens and grit removal.

The current treatment plant located at 3 Tower Road began treating New Ulm's wastewater during the summer of 1976. Initial treatment consisted of Primary clarification followed by complete mix activated sludge (aeration tanks) followed by secondary clarification, chlorination and de-chlorination. Bio-solids were treated by aerobic digestion, gravity thickened and land applied as a class "B" bio-solid.

Upgraded Services

In 1996, the wastewater plant upgraded its bio-solids process by adding an Autothermal Thermophilic Aerobic Digestion (ATAD). The upgrade allows us to treat solids further to produce Class "A" bio-solids that are land applied. This upgrade also added 3.2 million gallons of bio-solids storage and the addition of a third secondary clarifier.

In 2006, the wastewater plant added anoxic and anaerobic tanks to treat nutrients, in particular, phosphorus to meet new phosphorus limits to waters discharged to the Minnesota River. The City also upgraded the aging bar screens along with other miscellaneous electrical and diversion piping at the preliminary treatment site.

The most recent upgrade was completed in 2011 with the addition of high efficient blowers and air distribution equipment. The upgrade was done to better utilize electricity and more efficiently transfer air to our aeration tanks. The plant is designed to treat up to 6.77 million gallons per day; presently the New Ulm Wastewater Treatment Plant treats an average of 2.25 million gallons per day.

Regulations Observed

The wastewater plant follows regulations recommended by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The plant has an on-site laboratory which analyzes many parameters daily and is certified by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).