This was a busy year as we successfully placed into service three major projects, transitioned to full scale adaptive management, increased resource recovery programs, established new District governance, and launched the Employee Leadership Council (ELC). The District was also challenged to improve our performance around air emissions, and we now fully comply with and are successfully implementing our air permit requirements.
Collection System and Treatment Plant Maintenance
Planning and design of the Process Control System upgrade, begun in 2009, were accepted by the Commissioners in December 2015. This project will greatly improve our ability to monitor and control the treatment plant and collection system. Construction of Pumping Station 18 was completed mid-2015. This station serves to increase capacity and add redundancy to the east-side collection system. In addition, construction of the force main for Pumping Station 18 was completed while meeting the significant challenge of tunneling through a sensitive, high-water corridor.
Pumping station and interceptor rehabilitations are an ongoing effort in the District. Several rehabilitation projects have been evaluated or completed as a means of repairing or replacing deteriorating infrastructure, updating outdated electrical and mechanical systems, and reducing infiltration into the collection system. The result is improved capacity and control of the collection system and reduced potential for negative environmental impact.
A growing initiative for the District is to manage the concentration of chloride arriving at the Nine Springs Plant, which currently exceeds water quality standards. District staff have developed a Chloride Reduction Strategy and collaborated with Wisconsin Salt Wise Partnership (WiSaltWise) in an effort to promote community and industry education in lieu of cost- and energy-prohibitive treatments for reducing salt pollution. Additionally, the District is engaged in testing the adaptive management approach to reduce phosphorus discharge to watersheds.
The District continues to explore opportunities to convert waste into resources. Since 2004, effluent has been used to irrigate an area of the Nine Springs Golf Course in the City of Fitchburg. Research continues on maximizing the extraction of biological phosphorus to create fertilizer pellets for Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies. The District continues to create Class A biosolids for its Metrogro and Metromix programs. And, more than one-third of the energy needs at the Nine Springs Treatment Plant are being met through renewable energy such as digester gases.
The District continues to foster well-being, diversity, and excellence in employees so that they are empowered to deliver outstanding services to the community. The emphasis is on engaging individuals and employee groups through collaboration via informal means. Most notably, we created the Employee Leadership Council (ELC) to provide a formal way for all employees to have a voice on issues.
The District strives to remain on the cutting edge in technology, operations, efficiency, environmental protection, and community and employee relations.
~ Extract from the 2015 Annual Report of The Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District