The Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant

Overview

  • Located on the Mississippi River in Saint Paul
  • Largest wastewater treatment facility in Minnesota and one of the largest in the nation - averaging 215 million gallons of wastewater every day from 62 communities, 800 industries, and more than two million residents
  • When it opened in 1938, it was the first plant in a metropolitan area on the Mississippi River

Solids Management Building (SMB)

  • Planned and developed by Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES)
  • $160 million investment
  • Began operations in 2004
  • Capacity to process 315 dry tons of biosolids per day
  • Three fluid-bed incinerators replaced an outdated six multiple-hearth incinerator system, thereby reducing pollutant emissions, cutting fuel consumption, and lowering operating costs
  • The new process recovers significantly more heat, which is used to produce steam for winter heating
  • The plant’s highly-efficient turbine generation process produces more electricity than the old process, producing an average of three megawatts of electricity, enough to meet 20% of the plant's power demands and power about 1,000 homes
  • Enhanced air pollution control equipment removes almost 90% more pollutants and particulates from the air, including: metals, mercury, carbon monoxide, nitrogen, and sulfur oxides, as compared to pre-2004 emission levels
  • The process uses about 80% less natural gas than the old system, which, based on natural gas price estimates from 2005, results in a savings of $3 million a year
  • Solids-dewatering equipment captures odors in centrifuges and neutralizes them through chemical and biological processes