The city of Morgan in Redwood County is undertaking a $20.5 million water infrastructure project. Last year, it replaced its old and inefficient mechanical plant for wastewater treatment with a three-cell wastewater stabilization pond treatment facility. The ponds have been in operation since November 2017. Now the city is getting ready to replace its sanitary sewer lines and water mains.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Rural Development grants are helping fund the project, along with a loan that the city will pay off through gradual increases in user rates.
This city of 900 people experiences severe inflow and infiltration problems that the new infrastructure should solve. It decided on a pond system because it was more cost-effective than trying to rehabilitate its mechanical plant. The plant was built in 1954 and last upgraded in 1989. The 40-acre pond system northwest of town will discharge treated wastewater to Redwood County Ditch 109 in spring and/or fall each year. The city designed the project to avoid discharging during the wetter part of the year — June through September. Morgan also built a lift station and force main to carry wastewater to the new facility.
“The residents know that we needed to do something and most are on board. The council and Bolton & Menk were involved in making the necessary decisions,” said Dwane Jemmings, wastewater operator for Morgan.
Paul Kimman, the regional municipal wastewater supervisor with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, said, “This is a huge undertaking for a small town. Hats off to Morgan for tackling such a big project, and to resolving their inflow and infiltrations issues that resulted in many wastewater releases during wet weather.”