The region’s wastewater agency is spending $19 million to reduce pollution from sludge burning and replace aging components at its treatment plant in Eagan.
The Metropolitan Council took initial action Tuesday to approve the upgrades to the Seneca wastewater plant, the second-largest plant in the metro area by capacity. The changes will help the plant meet air emissions standards issued under the Obama administration.
The Met Council collects and treats the Twin Cities’ wastewater through 600 miles of pipes and eight treatment plants scattered around the area. The plant primarily treats waste from the southern suburbs of Bloomington, Eagan, Burnsville and Savage, and discharges the purified water into the Minnesota River.
Like its larger cousin in St. Paul, the Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant, Seneca incinerates the sludge left behind during the purification process. This produces emissions such as sulfur dioxide, though they amount to a small fraction of what comes out of the state’s power plants, according to data from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Other treatment plants in the region convert sludge into a fertilizer or ship it to the Metropolitan plant for incineration.