Treatment Plant Tours
Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) operates the regional wastewater collection and treatment system that serves 111 communities in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro region.
Every day, our nine treatment plants treat approximately 250 million gallons of wastewater to protect public health and the environment.
Several of our treatment plants offer a limited number of tours each month to show the general public how the water they use from nature is cleaned and safely returned to the environment. Visitors see the various ways pollutants are removed from wastewater, replicating nature’s own processes, but in a much shorter time frame. They also may see how wastewater solids are processed for beneficial reuse and how energy is recovered to power our treatment plants.
We are limiting tours at the Metro Plant due to construction projects. The safety of our staff and guests is a top priority. A tour at one of our other eight treatment plants may be easier to schedule.
- Tours are free.
- Tours are available during business hours, Monday to Friday.
- Reservations must be made at least 4-5 weeks in advance.
- Tours are about 90-120 minutes long, beginning with an orientation video and ending with a question-and-answer session.
- The age minimum for tour participants is seventh grade.
- The minimum group size is 10 people; maximum is 30.
- Larger groups will be considered based on staff availability.
- There should be one teacher/chaperone for every 10 students. Tours guides are the employees who operate and manage the plants. They provide a thorough, step-by-step explanation of wastewater treatment.
- To request a speaker, contact Britni Kesselring at Britni.Kesselring@metc.state.mn.us.
Schedule a tour
Contact Britni Kesselring at Britni.Kesselring@metc.state.mn.us with the following information:
- Contact name and phone number
- Company or organization name and phone number
- Mailing and e-mail addresses
- Requested date, time, and treatment plant
- Number of visitors and teachers/chaperones
- If you require any special accommodations for mobility or other disabilities, please include this in your email.
If we're able to accommodate your tour request, we'll send you a confirmation letter, our Plant Tour Safety and Security Rules, and additional information.
Can’t join us for a tour?
We’re sorry that you can’t join us at a plant, but you can enjoy an animated tour of the treatment process at the Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant on our Wastewater Treatment for Kids page. There you can find a fun video and presentation about the water cycle, how we use water, and how we clean it and return it to the environment to be used again!
Virtual tour of the Metropolitan Plant
The Metropolitan Plant is the largest wastewater treatment plant in Minnesota, processing over half of the wastewater in the Twin Cities region before returning clean water back to the Mississippi. The video below walks through each step of the water resource recovery process to give viewers an understanding of what happens to used water when it leaves their home or business. The Metropolitan Plant is working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to protect our region’s water and provide clean water for future generations.