Paddock Lake earns state award for wastewater treatment plant operations and chloride reduction

Costa Rican visitors tour the Paddock Lake wastewater treatment plant in 2019 / file photo

Paddock Lake has been recognized by the state for its success and leadership concerning environmental issues involving its wastewater treatment plant.

The state gave a 2021 Outstanding Performance Award to the village wastewater treatment plant, the state announced at the 2022 Government Affairs Seminar of the Wisconsin Wastewater Operators Association.

“It’s wonderful that we’re recognized in the whole state,” said village President Terry Burns.

The award is in recognition of the village’s Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit compliance and its efforts to implement chloride reduction measures that reduce the amount of salt discharged to the environment, the award text says.

Excessive chloride discharged into waterways can change the ecosystem, hurt wildlife and even damage adjacent infrastructure such as bridges, the Wisconsin DNR says.

“The village’s efforts are used as an example to other treatment plants statewide and both the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and US Environmental Protection Agency have used Paddock Lake as an example to other facilities across the country,” said Nicholas Lent, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Among the village implemented measures that led to the award were:

  • Reduction of road salt use. 
  • Full compliance with WDNR set phosphorous and chloride discharge limits.
  • Reduction of chloride entering the treatment facility, with a key factor being residents finetuning water softeners to reduce salt use.

Paddock Lake has been operating under a chloride variance since 2006, Lent explained. Well-developed source reduction measures over the last two permit terms have dramatically decreased influent sources resulting in effluent concentration reductions of over 200 mg/L

“Chloride source reduction requires constant effort and attention which the village has demonstrated.” Lent said. “Unique approaches such as sub sewer shed monitoring helped to focus their SRM actions which lead to great results and the facility is on track to achieve compliance with final limits at the end of their current permit term.”

Village administrator Tim Popanda praised the Village Board for over the years making this environmental issue a priority as well as the contribution of residents managing water softeners.

“The success of our plan begins with a Village Board of Trustees who strive to improve the environment as well as to find cost saving measures within the village operations,” Popanda said. “This reduction could only have been achieved because of residents and business owners optimizing or tuning-up their water softeners.”

Paddock Lake officials are hopeful the village’s success in meeting chloride standards could someday mean a state approved reduction in what village residents pay for wastewater treatment, either through a lower rate or application of a credit, Burns said.

“We’re in a good position,” Burns said.

The Paddock Lake Sewer Utility District provides treatment for wastewater collected from 1,476 users of the sanitary sewer system. The district serves 1,333 dwelling units, 52 apartments, 87 commercial businesses and 4 public users. Of these users, 325 are currently served by sanitary sewer and municipal water; the remaining 1,151 users are served by private water wells.


Comments are closed.

  • Follow us on

  • Archives