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GreenStep City Best Practices Environmental Management

Efficient Water and Wastewater Systems
no. 20

Assess and improve city drinking water and wastewater systems and related facilities.
  Best Practice Action 4      [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ]       [all actions]

Optimize energy and chemicals use at drinking water / wastewater facilities and decrease chloride in wastewater discharges.

Inform residents about the ecologic benefits to reducing water softener salt use; shift operation times of large pumps or activities so as to secure a cheaper electrical rate; purchase cheaper 'interruptable rate' electricity; install a peaking generator for load shaving/cost savings as well as backup power. Report ductile drinking water pipe under BP 15.8
Report savings from reduced fluoride levels; evaluate pump efficiency, repair or upgrade to efficient ones and report on anticipated cost savings.
Implement other/longer payback period drinking water facility upgrades such as measurable reduction in chemical use, use of backwash water; soften drinking water and work to eliminate home water softeners.

Apple Valley

Date action report first entered:   03/21/2012

Implementation details:
The city has completed an energy audit and backwash optimization improvements.

For more information contact:
Charless Grawe (City staff)   |   CGrawe@ci.apple-valley.mn.us   |   952-953-2508

View All Apple Valley Actions

Inver Grove Heights

Date action report first entered:   05/24/2016
Date of last report update:   07/05/2017
Year action initially completed:   2000

Implementation details:
The City of Inver Grove Heights utilizes Xcel Energy's peak control program for the booster station and three of the city's wells. When Xcel experiences a high energy demand, the City can power the wells with our generators to receive a reduced energy rate. To increase pumping efficiency, the City upgraded the water treatment plant's lift station with the financial assistance through an Xcel rebate. Operating pumps at the booster stations and well house have received annual variable frequency drive upgrades over the last 15 - 20 years. In 2015, the Department of Health reduced the required concentration of fluoride in drink water. The City of Inver Grove Heights responded by reducing the concentration of fluoride added at the water treatment facility from 1ppm to 0.7ppm, which reduced the City's expenses on water treatment chemicals.

For more information contact:
Ally Hillstrom (City staff)   |   ahillstrom@invergroveheights.org   |   651-604-8511

View All Inver Grove Heights Actions


Date action report first entered:   02/12/2016
Date of last report update:   02/12/2016

Implementation details:
The City has upgraded their force main wastewater pumps to dual air release / air vac for better performance and efficiency. The City utilized the allowed 10% of recycles backwash water in the water treatment plant operations. By using the clarifiers in the wastewater treatment plant, the City has lowered the amount of Aluminum Sulfate by approximated 1/3. The City has lowered the amount of hydrofluorosilicic acid used to fluoridate the city’s drinking water in response to the new fluoride level rule.

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For more information contact:
Roxanne Achman (City staff)   |   rachman@cityofisanti.us   |   763-444-5512

View All Isanti Actions


Date action report first entered:   02/19/2016
Date of last report update:   02/01/2019
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
We have back-up generators and are already part of the Xcel Energy’s peak shaving program. We recycle all water used for backwashing and from the filter presses. This water gets pumped back to the head of the plant for re-treatment.

For more information contact:
Russ Lupkes (City staff)   |   rlupkes@richfieldmn.gov   |   6128619175

View All Richfield Actions


Date action report first entered:   06/22/2012

Implementation details:
-The City of Burnsville pumps the majority of it's water at night, securing a cheaper electrical rate. -The City has many natural gas pumps and motors, versus electric. -Installed a peaking generator for load/shaving and cost savings in the 1990s. The City evaluates pump efficiency in it's 10 Year Cycle Rehabilitation Plan. If a pump needs to be replaced, the city applies for rebates that usually make the most energy efficient pumps that most cost efficient.

For more information contact:
Sue Bast (City staff)   |   basts@ci.burnsville.mn.us   |   952-895-4524

View All Burnsville Actions

Coon Rapids

Date action report first entered:   07/05/2017
Date of last report update:   07/05/2017
Year action initially completed:   2016
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
In 2016, the City reduced its Fluoride feed rate from .9-1.5 parts per million (PPM) to .5-.9 PPM to the City drinking water. The City saw an annual savings of roughly $10,000.00 in its first year.

For more information contact:
Kory Jorgensen (City staff)   |   KJorgensen@coonrapidsmn.gov   |   763-767-6576

View All Coon Rapids Actions

Golden Valley

Date action report first entered:   12/05/2017
Date of last report update:   12/05/2017
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
A third party electrical company inspects the City’s water and wastewater pumps on a yearly basis to ensure all pumps are working to their maximum efficiencies. The City has installed a peak shaving generator in its pump house and has replaced two out of the four water reservoir pumps with newer, more efficient models. There are plans to replace the remaining two pumps by 2020.

Outcome measures/metrics:
The average daily flow for the three cities that make up the Joint Water Commission (Golden Valley, New Hope, and Crystal) is 4.75 MGD. Between June of 2016 and June of 2017, the average daily electric usage for the Golden Valley reservoir was 2,043 kWh per day.

For more information contact:
Joe Hansen (City staff)   |   jhansen@goldenvalleymn.gov   |   763-593-8038

View All Golden Valley Actions


Date action report first entered:   03/21/2012

Implementation details:
In the summer of 2011, the Ciy hosted a MnTAP intern who researched process optimization options at the City's WasteWater Treatment plant. Following the recommendations of the study, the city has replaced its sludge pnd aerators with NEMA super premium efficient motors. In March 2012, the City began implementing the second round of recommendations, which includes installing dissolved oxygen sensors and VFD drives on rotors to optimize dissolved oxygen processes. This project has been budgeted and is expected to be completed by June 2012. The attached MnTAP Intern report lists process optimization options and associated payback periods.

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For more information contact:
Mike Bauer (City staff)   |   mbauer@ci.rogers.mn.us   |   763-428-0974

MnTAP, MN GreenCorps

View All Rogers Actions


Date action report first entered:   01/29/2018
Date of last report update:   01/29/2018
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
The WTP lighting was upgraded from high bay metal halide to LED high bay fixtures in the fall of 2015. The metal halide lighting was never turned off due to the nature of the type of light. If the lights were powered off and we turned them on, it would take 5 minutes for the lights to become fully lit. Meaning we never shut these lights off due to how long the light took to power back on. This was a huge energy hog and most of the time no one was in the room. By changing over to the LED, not only were the lights lower in wattage, they were brighter, and we were able to turn the lights on with instant lighting. The lighting in these rooms today are normally off and have a motion sensor to turn back on when needed.

For more information contact:
Mary Hurliman (City staff)   |   mhurliman@BloomingtonMN.gov   |   952-563-8730

View All Bloomington Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/30/2015
Date of last report update:   04/30/2015

Implementation details:
The improved wastewater plant has many implementations to provide longer payback for drinking water and other water uses. The new plant will get Gilbert below the dreaded mercury limit, as well as remove excess phosphorus from the water. Aerobic digestion will be used to alleviate and reduce waste. The new facility will remove many unnecessary chemicals that would eventually inadvertently end up in Lake Superior.

Outcome measures/metrics:
The hopes for the future are that Gilbert will meet the soon to be enforced mercury limit. Many people in Gilbert do not understand why there is a mercury limit, much less why they need to comply to it. This new facility will take the burden off their hands. The technology does the work for the people of Gilbert. Phosphorus and mercury do not belong in the St.Louis river, nor in Lake Superior.

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For more information contact:
Sam Lautigar (City staff)   |   samlautigar@gilbertmn.org   |   218-748-2214

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Saint Cloud

Date action report first entered:   05/17/2017
Date of last report update:   05/17/2017
Year action initially completed:   2001
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
Energy and chemical efficiency evaluations are completed daily at both the drinking water and wastewater treatment facility. These evaluations are used to make changes to the treatment process to be as cost-effective and energy efficient as possible.

For more information contact:
Tracy Hodel (City staff)   |   tracy.hodel@ci.stcloud.mn.us   |   3202557226

View All Saint Cloud Actions

Eagan pending

Date action report first entered:   01/11/2011

Implementation details:
Evaluate chemical usage by inflow(daily) and also on a yearly peak demand ratio. We also take yearly sludge samples and have them analyzed for pollutants and report this to the pollution control agency.

For more information contact:
Jon Eaton (City staff)   |   jeaton@cityofeagan.com   |   651/675-5212

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Fergus Falls pending

Date action report first entered:   01/14/2016
Date of last report update:   01/14/2016

Implementation details:
The City of Fergus Falls is conducting a study on the water plant and will likely be bringing forth a recommendation for a new plant.

For more information contact:
Len Taylor (City staff)   |   len.taylor@ci.fergus-falls.mn.us   |   218-332-5418

View All Fergus Falls Actions

pending means a star rating has not yet been assigned to this city

greenstep advisor
Brent Vizanko, Assoc. Engineer, Minnesota Technical Assistance Program: 612/624-4653, bvizan@umn.edu, http://mntap.umn.edu/us/staff.htm