Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Story of Sewage in Superior

Go to the Environmental Services Division page

and click on the History tab to open a page that has a slide show (pdf file) on sewage treatment in the early days of Superior, including when there was over 40,000 people living in town.  In the beginning there was none - no treatment.  Raw sewage regularly went out to local rivers and to Lake Superior.  It wasn't until 1958 that this facility opened.  Improvements in cleaning the wastewater have been added over the years.   The wastewater treatment plant is one big part to help keep local waters clean and healthy for aquatic organisms and for us! 

It was interesting to see the controversy in place and how many people felt a treatment plant wasn't necessary.  

Friday, May 15, 2015

May 19 (Tuesday) program on Water Treatment in Superior (Waste and Drinking Water)

We hope you will attend a program planned for Tuesday, May 19 at 5 p.m. at the Superior Public Library.

Event:   A Closer Look at Water Treatment in Superior, WI
How is it done in Superior?  Drinking Water Treatment and Wastewater Treatment

 We use water everyday.  Water arrives to our homes, schools, and businesses and wastewater will leave from these places.  Attend the approximately one hour program where Superior Water Light & Power will present a closer look at drinking water treatment in Superior and Superior Environmental Services will present about what is done with wastewater to treat it before discharging it back into Superior Bay.   You will also learn about improvements  over the years for better treatment and develop a better understanding on infrastructure in place to have the treatment possible. Finally, you will also take home simple tips on how you can be a part of helping prevent pollution in Lake Superior and conserve water. It would not be a good thing to not have these important services running properly in Superior yet for many decades the services didn’t exist for the early people settling in Superior.   Human health and environmental health are in part connected to proper drinking water treatment and wastewater treatment.  

Any questions?  Call (715)394-0392 or email City of Superior Environmental Services.


Have you been to lately? 


Visit our Facebook page or Twitter.  SuperiorESDPW


Friday, May 8, 2015


What do you think sludge looks like?  The wastewater treatment involves multiple steps to take out materials, including total suspended solids, from the water that will be released into Lake Superior.  It's a Friday and a good day for photos. 

Here are a few:

Here are 4 samples : Influent - what comes into the plant - it's mostly water.
Primary effluent - after treatment through the primary clarifiers
Aeration Basin sample - this is using the activated sludge with lots of organisms
Effluent - is what is released into Lake Superior
Which sample do you think has the highest TSS (total suspended solids)? 
The correct answer is the Aeration Basin sample.  It would likely have one about 2000 mg/L.  The other values could be about 250 for the influent (note: that sample is looking a bit darker than usual.  It wasn't collected that day), 100 mg/L in the primary effluent and the effluent would be about 10 mg/L.
Here is a view of the Belt Filter Press. The sludge cake are the solids that were concentrated and then removed.  These are what the organisms didn't consume but the organisms do help to greatly reduce the organic materials.   The sludge cake doesn't smell.  It is not of good enough quality to be used on farm fields.  It is trucked the landfill.  Trucks also leave here carrying debris trapped at the screen building and the through the grit chamber. 
Here are our new Huber Step Screens that were installed this winter. They are shiny and new and do the incredible work of removing materials down to 1/8".  Our previous screens only removed down to 1/4".  We are happy to report they are doing well. 
Here is an inside look.
With looking closely you can see a goldfish and a bandaid among the debris. 
Speaking of goldfish.  We do have a goldfish here that we've put in effluent and she is doing fine.  She likes to visit with the students when they come.  Her name is
Sue R. Plant.
Remember, the effluent is not drinkable but it's safe for swimming and safe for fish and aquatic organisms.