The future began Friday (July 8) in Owatonna with regard to wastewater treatment. The City's Public Works Department held a groundbreaking for an expansion of the wastewater treatment plant on Industrial Road. Plans date back to 2017 for the project. A July 6 press release from the Public Works Department indicates, "The expansion of the plant positions the community for future growth without further watershed degradation."

A May 12 news release stated, "The plant has been operating at or above its capacity for the past several years." The addition will take the treatment facility's capacity from five million gallons per day to more than nine million gallons a day.

"Owatonna is one of just a few major discharge points in the Cannon River watershed. The technology used in the new plant will help ensure no additional degradation of the regional watershed, despite the increase in capacity," according to the May announcement.

The city began rate increase ten years ago to be in position for expansion "while maintaining affordability for residents and businesses." The city set aside $10 million in reserves and received some grant funding, in addition to requesting $22 million is state bonding funds.

Rice Lake Construction Group is teaming with Nero Engineering. Work should begin shortly and continue through late 2024.

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