Nationwide DI Water Solutions LLC, exceeds zinc and copper wastewater limits at its Elgin facility

Stephen Mikkelson, 218-316-3887

According to a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) enforcement investigation, Nationwide DI Water Solutions LLC, exceeded its permitted wastewater discharge limits for zinc and copper for most of 2020 and 2021, at its ion exchange resin recharge facility in Elgin, Minnesota. Zinc was exceeded by more than 20 times the limit on two occasions. The company also failed to properly maintain treatment equipment, and failed to develop and implement procedures to ensure quarterly samples collected and analyzed were representative of wastewater discharged from the facility.

The facility cleans and recharges ion exchange resin from businesses that operate electronic discharge machining (EDM) and water treatment businesses. Their permit authorizes the discharge of pretreated wastewater to the Plainview/Elgin Sanitary District’s wastewater treatment facility that releases treated water to the North Fork of the Whitewater River, a designated trout stream.

In addition to paying an $23,775 civil penalty to the MPCA, Nationwide DI Water Solutions must:

  • Develop and implement a plan to achieve compliance with effluent discharge limits.
  • Revise their sampling and analysis plan to ensure samples collected are representative of all wastewater discharged.
  • Maintain compliance with permit effluent limits for three consecutive calendar quarters before agreement termination will be considered.

The company paid a $18,704 civil penalty to the MPCA in August of 2019 to resolve similar violations.

MPCA rules and regulations are designed to protect human health and the environment by limiting pollution emissions and discharges from facilities. When companies do not fully comply with regulatory requirements, the resulting pollution can be harmful to people and the environment.

When calculating penalties, the MPCA takes into account how seriously the violations affected or could have affected the environment, and whether they were first-time or repeat violations. The agency also attempts to recover the economic benefit the company gained by failing to comply with environmental laws in a timely manner.