Achieving Performance Excellence

Wastewater plant operator checks equipment in the liquids business unit at the Metro Plant in Saint Paul.From our wastewater treatment plant operators and interceptor service workers to our engineers, environmental scientists, and support staff, our reputation for excellence comes from the efforts of our staff. Their commitment to our mission is the driving force behind everything we do.

MCES’s outstanding work is recognized by local and national organizations. Learn more about the awards we earned in 2021.

Plant operators inspect equipment in the solids management building at the Metro Plant in Saint Paul.

117 years of perfect performance for clean water

Our nine wastewater treatment plants continue to earn high honors for outstanding compliance with federal clean water discharge permits. For their performance through the year 2020, all nine plants were recognized in 2021 with Peak Performance Awards by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. Six plants earned Platinum Awards for achieving five or more consecutive years of full compliance with their permits:

  • Hastings (30 years)
  • St. Croix Valley (29 years)
  • Blue Lake (15 years)
  • Eagles Point (15 years)
  • Empire (13 years)
  • Metro (9 years)

The Hastings and St. Croix Valley plants’ compliance records put them among the top six plants in the nation. Our plants combined reached 117 years of consecutive compliance.

Learn about how we work together to achieve our excellent permit compliance.

Minnesota Public Works Project of the Year Award for Minnehaha Creek-area project

“This was a great project from start to finish with its detailed design, innovative construction techniques, and community and agency engagement.”

— Sarah Lloyd, Minnesota Chapter of the American Public Works Association

Our successful construction of a project to rehabilitate an aging sewer near Minnehaha Park in south Minneapolis earned the Project of the Year Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the American Public Works Association.

“Major wastewater conveyance projects rarely attract public attention, and yet they are vital to protect the health and welfare of the public and surrounding environment,” said Sarah Lloyd, chair of the association’s Minnesota Awards Committee. “This was a great project from start to finish with its detailed design, innovative construction techniques, and community and agency engagement.”

Read more about the unique challenges of the Minnehaha area project.

National award for water conservation collaborations 

To recognize our focus on helping consumers and businesses save water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded us with a 2021 WaterSense Excellence Award.

The award recognizes two collaborative programs managed by our Water Supply Planning group:

  • 2019-2022 Water Efficiency Grant Program: Communities enrolled in the program are saving 100 million gallons of water annually as residents, commercial properties, and government facilities upgrade to water-efficient devices, including toilets, washing machines, dishwashers,and irrigation controllers.
  • Turfgrass Irrigation Efficiency Project: Along with the University of Minnesota Turfgrass Science Program, we are funding a multi-year project to increase the efficiency of water use for home lawns and landscapes. This includes site assessments, research, and demonstration projects focused on smart irrigation practices.

Learn more about the award-winning programs.

The Water Efficiency Grant Program has saved 450 million gallons of water since the program started in 2015.