WLSSD at the Carlton County Fair

Every year we go to the Carlton County Fair to educate people about using fertilizer wisely and reach out to all our customers there about being good water stewards.

Yep. WLSSD has a big presence in Carlton County. A portion of the county is included in our 530-square-mile service area.  In fact, we treat wastewater from nearly 40 percent of the county’s population—including Esko, Carlton, Wrenshall, Cloquet and Twin Lakes Township. Our pipes extend all the way to Black Bear Casino!

And did you know that when septic and holding tanks are pumped, the septage often comes to us for treatment?

Western Lake Superior Sanitary District treats wastewater from a large region covering 17 communities. When the Minnesota legislature created WLSSD in the 1970s, local leaders agreed the St. Louis River could be protected best by having one regional plant using advanced technology.

In addition to our wastewater services, we produce a high-quality biosolids fertilizer called Field Green® used by many farmers in Carlton County, southern St. Louis County, Douglas County, Wisc., and to mines on the Iron Range. We use some of the best agricultural practices in existence to make sure that the fertilizer boosts yields while protecting water.

So we’re at the fair to talk about all the benefits that wastewater treatment brings our region. Increasingly, our mission has expanded beyond keeping the St. Louis River clean to creating value from your wastewater.

We also think of our mission as producing valuable products. One product is the clean water we return to the river. A second is the methane-rich biogas we produce while treating wastewater and we use it to heat our plant and generate electricity. A third is the fertilizer produced from the nutrients in wastewater.

Wow. Sounds pretty important, doesn’t it? Well, that’s why we go to the fair. We also have a lot of fun there – with a spin-the-wheel game to help everyone test their knowledge about wastewater and good agricultural practices.

We’re there every year – the fair is a great family event. Put it on your calendar for next year!

By Craig Lincoln, Environmental Program Coordinator