Supporting Community Growth

Downtown Saint Paul and a marina on the Mississippi River.Guided by a long-range plan, we are committed to ensuring sufficient wastewater system capacity as our communities develop and grow. We ensure that wastewater collection and treatment is competitive for cost and quality, and we invest in our infrastructure to preserve water quality in the region. We also work closely with our community partners to ensure that local plans provide for adequate water supply while addressing pollution sources such as agricultural stormwater runoff.

Aerial view of the Hastings wastewater treatment plant.

Planning for relocation of the Hastings Plant

MCES has nearly completed the complex planning phase to relocate the Hastings Wastewater Treatment Plant. The existing site, located in downtown Hastings along the Mississippi River, cannot be expanded to meet long-term growth and future regulatory requirements.

The city of Hastings opened the current plant in 1955, and MCES acquired it in 1970. For the last 30 years, we have operated the plant in perfect compliance with its federal clean water discharge permits — one of the best records in the nation. The new plant, to be constructed about two miles southeast of the current facility, will be able to treat up to 10 million gallons of wastewater daily, allowing for significant regional growth over today’s 2.34 million gallon daily capacity. The plant is projected to open in 2027.

Connecting Loretto to the regional wastewater system

After more than a decade of planning and collaboration with local municipalities, the city of Loretto was connected to our wastewater system in September 2021. This was accomplished through a partnership with Lake Independence and Medina. These two communities agreed to help provide service to Loretto by utilizing their own local infrastructure — a collaborative approach that resulted in quicker-than-expected regional service for Loretto. We now serve a total of 111 customer communities with our regional wastewater collection and treatment system.

Worker in a hard hat outside at the Empire plant.

Ensuring sustainable infrastructure through capital improvement program

We ensure reliable, affordable wastewater infrastructure that provides long-term value to the region. To meet current and future infrastructure needs, we make investments through our capital improvement program (CIP). The CIP is prepared, reviewed, and approved annually, and adjusted as needed. Capital expenditures totaled about $103 million in 2021.

Capital project details:

  • 74% for renewal of aging infrastructure
  • 16% for upgrades needed to meet increasing permit regulations
  • 10% for expanding system capacity through plant expansions and interceptor extensions

Treatment plant capital projects:

  • Blue Lake
  • Eagle’s Point
  • East Bethel
  • Empire
  • Metro
  • Rogers
  • Seneca
  • St. Croix Valley

Sewer construction capital projects:
Apple Valley, Bayport, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Chanhassen, Coon Rapids, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Independence, Loretto, Maple Plain, Medina, Minneapolis, Minnetrista, Mound, Oak Park Heights, Orono, Plymouth, Rosemount, Saint Paul, Savage, South St. Paul, Waconia, Woodbury

Learn more about our capital investments.

Partnering with local governments on water management plans

Under state law, local governments in the seven-county metro area are required to develop a local surface water management plan along with their comprehensive land use plan. In 2021, we led an effort with the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources and watershed organizations to better coordinate and clarify the requirements for these local surface water management plans.