On Point newsletter

On Point is a monthly e-newsletter designed to share information with wastewater discharge permit holders around the state.

  • Planning construction for 2019? Then start applications soon
  • Online soon: Status of phosphorus reviews – and new limits – for wastewater dischargers
  • Holiday greeting for your customers: Keep grease out of sinks and wipes out of pipes
  • In the works: Draft Annual Compliance Summary
  • Upcoming MPCA events for operator training
  • eDMR tips: Name changes coming, make sure you review all calculations
  • Permit termination requests to be available via e-services
  • PFA approves funding for several wastewater projects
  • In the news and online: Diving to clean up a wipes mess
Published: November 16, 2018

Older issues can be found in the archive.

  • Open for comment: Rules on beneficial uses
  • Success story: Western Lake Superior Sanitary District marks 40 years of cleaner water
  • Big Lake resolving expensive ‘rags’ problem with different pumps, finer screens
  • Coming soon: Draft Annual Compliance Summary
  • And the winners are… agency reviewing compliance to determine 2019 Operational Awards
  • MPCA welcomes new wastewater compliance officer
  • eDMR tip: If no chlorine used, then leave boxes blank on sample values
  • State approves funding for greater Minnesota water projects
  • Upcoming MPCA seminars for operator training
  • Exhibit explores water through stories and science
  • In the news and online: Fighting the fat in sewers
  • Upcoming events, U of M conference, Minnesota River Congress

Published: October 12, 2018
  • Success story: Mora WWTF overcomes storm challenge thanks to dedicated staff and recent upgrades
  • Upcoming workshops on asset management, project financing
  • Wanted: WWTFs for pilot project on meeting phosphorus limits without costly construction
  • Sign of progress: State terminates last Combined Sewer Overflow Permit
  • MPCA in line for grant to help WWTPs with reducing mercury
  • eDMR tip: Be sure to submit all required forms
  • Governor appoints task force on wild rice
  • Now on public notice: Wastewater pond general permit
  • Rural communities receive funding for infrastructure projects
  • In the news and online: Mitigating sewer odors, hurricane impacting WWTFs
Published: September 20, 2018
  • Coming soon: New general permit for pond WWTFs
  • Corn dogs and water softener settings: Both found at Minnesota State Fair
  • 0% interest loans available to curb water pollution
  • Tip for staying in compliance: Be sure to calibrate flow monitoring equipment
  • eDMR tips: Revoking authorization, amending sample values
  • MPCA offering basic and refresher courses for Type IV certification
  • Funding at work: Grants and loans flowing to cities for wastewater projects
  • In the news and online: Wetter weather, Polymet update, marijuana industry impact

Published: August 29, 2018
  • Bonding bill passes but with controversial measure
  • Ready for construction in 2019? Apply now for funding
  • Crow River watershed: Community reps, MPCA staff talk permits, trading and other topics.
  • Success stories: Reducing water usage leads to increases in savings
  • eDMR tip: Use Wastewater Data Browser to access DMR records
  • In the news and online: U of M study on chloride in waters
Published: July 20, 2018
  • Shining a bright light on hidden infrastructure
  • Update on chloride limits: MPCA meeting with permit holders, starts outreach planning
  • MPCA issuing new general permit for stabilization pond WWTFs
  • MPCA withdraws wild rice rulemaking, awaits decision on legislative proposal
  • Collection systems: What to do when things go wrong and releases occur
  • eDMR tip: Don’t trust the calculator completely, double-check data before submittal
  • Clarissa receives grant for improvements to aging wastewater system
  • MPCA, MDH commissioners to EPA: Proposed rule on science ‘dangerous’
  • Spotted in Rochester: The Clog advising people on what and what not to flush
  • New webpages for MPCA environmental review
  • In the news and online: Bonding bill, water reuse

Published: May 24, 2018
  • Success story: City of Morgan replacing virtually all water infrastructure
  • Attendance increases at MPCA annual wastewater conferences
  • MPCA recognizes wastewater facilities for operational excellence
  • eDMR tip: Data is public so take steps to ensure accuracy
  • Agency names new regional supervisor for municipal wastewater
  • State grants help cities with infrastructure projects
  • Spring finally arrives, and with it comes flooding preparation
  • By foot and by boat, volunteers take to the water to collect valuable data
  • In the news and online: Wild rice, ‘poop train,’ Polymet and more

Published: April 26, 2018
  • Resurfacing at the Legislature: Protection of Water Quality Investment Act
  • Report: Time to get serious about water re-use
  • No final version of Annual Compliance Summary this year due to database corrections
  • We heard you and what we’re doing: MPCA updates wastewater webpages
  • eDMR tip: Watch those decimal points
  • Water a dominant theme in MPCA Strategic Plan
  • Legislative proposal: Reduce training requirements for biosolids applications
  • Two southern Minnesota cities receive funding for wastewater projects
  • In the news and online: Sewage spills into stadium
  • Add email address to safe sender list, follow me on Twitter

Published: March 29, 2018
  • Governor proposes $1.54 billion bonding package, including water infrastructure
  • eDMR tips: Format data as required by permit, process to follow for submittals
  • March 19-21: MPCA to hold annual Collection System Conference
  • Face to face: Visit the MPCA booth at Wastewater Operations Conference March 21-23
  • Planning to take an exam at annual conference? Here’s what you need to know
  • MPCA announces WWTF Operational Award recipients
  • 2018 training calendar now up for wastewater operators
  • MPCA announces new supervisor for industrial permits
  • Four communities receive grants for expansions of services
  • In the news and online: U.S. Steel, state settle lawsuit over permit
Published: February 26, 2018
  • Success story: Town solves I & I problems through persistence and teamwork
  • Survey: Wastewater infrastructure needs increase to almost $5 billion
  • State now accepting submissions for water infrastructure projects
  • MRWA offers asset management tools and training for utilities
  • MPCA to respond to court ruling rejecting proposed standard to protect wild rice
  • MPCA names new municipal wastewater manager
  • eDMR tip: Each staff submitting eDMRs should have an individual account
  • Check your permit for annual reports due, including stormwater for some facilities
  • Take 2 on Annual Compliance Summary: Delivery of 'Big Report' drafts still in the works
  • 2018 training calendar now up for wastewater operators
  • March 19-21: MPCA to hold annual Collection System Conference
  • March 21-23: MPCA to hold Wastewater Operations Conference
  • Agency reviewing compliance for 2017 wastewater operations awards
  • PFA approves $5.3 million for East Grand Forks project
  • Water quality trading: Future trades different under new standards, conditions
  • In the news and online: Governor seeks $1.5 billion bonding bill
Published: January 24, 2018
  • Success story: Decreases in phosphorus from wastewater mean increase in lake water quality
  • Regulatory certainty: Future uncertain for law itself
  • Look for draft Annual Compliance Summary in your inbox
  • Reminder: Annual biosolids reports due
  • Ideas for updating or adding water quality standards? Here’s your chance
  • MPCA Assistant Commissioner Rebecca Flood to retire
  • Environmental protection a balancing act for MPCA economists
  • Survey: Mankato meeting on standards and other issues helpful to communities
  • State awards $2 million in funding for Kelliher upgrades
  • Draft 2018 Impaired Waters List now open for comment
  • Water quality trading: Potential to reduce more pollution at a lower cost
  • On tap: Assistance for microbreweries and micro distilleries
  • MPCA closes Willmar office
  • In the news and online: Aging systems, monster fatberg
Published: December 21, 2017
  • Success story: Kasson and Mantorville playing nice in the sandbox
  • Holiday greeting for your customers: Keep grease out of sinks and wipes out of pipes
  • eDMR tip: Make sure groundwater elevations rounded correctly
  • 'Big report’ is coming back: Look for a draft in your email soon
  • MPCA to begin review for 2017 wastewater operator awards
  • State grants rolling out for wastewater projects
  • Workshop Dec. 6: Identifying ways to save energy and costs at WWTPs
  • Dec. 12-14: Wastewater Treatment Technology Seminar
  • Coming soon: 2018 wastewater training calendar
  • March 19-21: Collection System Conference
  • March 21-23: Wastewater Operations Conference
  • Whom to call with questions on wastewater/collection system certifications and exams
  • Quick tip for operators renewing their certifications
  • In the news and online: Algae a nationwide threat, big wastewater challenges, antibiotic disposal
Published: November 20, 2017
  • MPCA implementing river eutrophication standards, starting with Minnesota River basin
  • Mankato, MPCA host meeting: ‘What’s coming down the pipe’
  • Survey for Minnesota wastewater treatment facilities on inspection follow-up reports
  • Wastewater manager leaves MPCA after 30 years of successful programs
  • eDMR tips: No discharge field, how to cancel a report
  • We heard you and what we’re doing: Letters now go to both the mayor and wastewater operator
  • MPCA welcomes new municipal permit writer
  • Pump workshop moves from New Prague to Vadnais Heights
  • MPCA holding Collection System Basic Seminar Nov. 7-9
  • Wastewater Treatment Technology Seminar set for Dec. 12-14
  • Coming soon: 2018 wastewater training calendar
  • Collection System Conference set for March 19-21
  • Wastewater Operations Conference set for March 21-23
  • 2018 Impaired waters list: Success stories surfacing for Minnesota lakes, streams
  • In the news and online: Illegal discharges, thumbs up to WWTFs in MN River report, wild rice hearings begin
Published: October 30, 2017
  • MPCA releases proposal for protecting wild rice from excess sulfide
  • Update on chloride standard: MPCA implementing recommendations of work group
  • Changes coming to permit monitoring for some Large Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems
  • Water quality standards and effluent limits: Related but different
  • eDMR news: Agency changes 'no discharge' field to make it more understandable
  • MPCA, food processors meet to share information and concerns on permit requirements
  • We heard you and what we’re doing: 1 place to find location info for permit apps and other useful links
  • New contact for certifications and exam questions
  • Quick tip for operators renewing their certifications
  • Have an idea for next year’s conference? Then join the planning committee
  • How's the water? Gov. Dayton wants to know
  • Minnesota Water Resources Conference Oct. 17-18 in St. Paul
  • In the news: Microplastics a macro problem, bonding funds get mayor out of the sewer, dead zone the largest ever
Published: September 05, 2017
  • Legislative session ends with historic levels of funding for water infrastructure
  • Open for comment: Possible increases to MPCA water quality permit fees
  • eDMR news
  • More time to review permits: We heard you and what we’re doing
  • Registrations open for biosolids refresher course Aug. 22-23
  • New federal rule aims to decrease to reduce mercury discharges from dental offices
  • Collection system owners responsible for preventing releases of wastewater
  • In the news and online: Sump pump inspections, local projects, FAQs on wastewater
Published: June 29, 2017
  • MPCA recognizes wastewater plant operators for excellence
  • Community reps present recommendations on implementing chloride standard in wastewater permits
  • Legislative proposals would slow down permitting work
  • Important survey to take: Community needs for wastewater infrastructure
  • Sewage treatment can be a big issue for small communities
  • Prepare for spring, also known as flood season
  • In the news and online: State leaders discuss wastewater needs, officials consider water reuse
Published: May 11, 2017
  • Collection System Conference set for March 27-29
  • Wastewater Operations Conference set for March 29-31
  • Reminder: Complete training hours before certification expires
  • Tip on completing forms for operator licensing and training
  • Moving? Changing jobs? Let the MPCA know
  • Legislative updates: Bonding bill and changing wipes labeling
  • eDMR news: How to cancel spreadsheet, enter chloride
  • Regulatory certainty: We heard you and what we’re doing
  • Water/Ways exhibit opens in Detroit Lakes
  • In the news and online: MPCA staff map, ‘tsunami of sewage spills’
Published: March 07, 2017
  • Many municipal WWTFs need to submit biosolids report to both MPCA, EPA
  • MPCA offers refresher courses for Type IV operators
  • Gov. Dayton to host 'town hall' water summit Jan. 27 at UMM
  • MPCA seeks comments on proposed expansion of Jordan’s sanitary sewer system
  • Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit opens Jan. 7 at Lanesboro
  • Listening sessions: MPCA heard you and here’s what we’re doing
  • In the news and online: Lawsuit dropped, cinnamon in water samples
Published: December 29, 2016
  • Listening sessions: MPCA needs to communicate more, make it easier to comply
  • Q and A with MPCA at annual wastewater conference
  • Tis the season to remind your customers: Trash the fat
  • eDMR news: MPCA website and eServices offline for maintenance Dec. 9-12
Published: November 22, 2016
  • Success story: Met Council Environmental Services to receive award
  • MPCA sets listening sessions on permit process for municipal wastewater treatment plants
  • Agency extends comment period for draft 2016 impaired waters list
  • City of Willow River working to repair flood-damaged ponds
  • Heavy rains emphasize need to prepare for system overloads
  • Resources to help with wastewater system overloads
  • Water reuse increasing in importance, stakeholder meeting Sept. 26
  • eDMR tips: Be sure to answer all questions
  • Oct. 18-19: U of M Water Resources Conference in St. Paul
  • Review of compliance status begins soon to determine facility awards
  • Post it on a screen near you: Wipes clog pipes
  • In the news and online: Floods, threats to Mississippi, strange brews
    Published: September 23, 2016
    • Upgrades at Kasson plant could save $17,000+ in annual electric costs
    • MPCA implementing new river standards through wastewater permits
    • Wild rice sulfate standard being developed, may affect WWTFs
    • We heard you: MPCA revising website to make it more user-friendly
    • MPCA suspends annual compliance summary reports, offers wastewater data browser
    • MPCA recognizes paper company for wastewater treatment
    • Don’t flush idea yet: Agency plans to revive bill to change wipes labeling
    • Several training opportunities ahead for wastewater operators
    Published: July 08, 2016
    • New law aims to help cities plan better while reducing pollutants in wastewater
    • MPCA invites you to meeting on implementing regulatory certainty (June 30)
    Published: June 23, 2016
    • Wastewater plants keeping much more ‘P’ out of MN waters
    • MPCA recognizes wastewater plant operators for excellence
    • Water Action Week: Do one thing for water
    • eDMR news: No eDMR online service April 22-25
    • State seeking proposals for analysis of water quality standards, rules
    • In the news and online: Bonding bill, regulatory certainty, sewer spill in Tennessee
    Published: April 21, 2016
    • Legacy funds helping cities reduce phosphorus in wastewater
    • MPCA proposing new antidegradation rules
    • Collection System Conference set for March 21-23
    • Wastewater Operations Conference set for March 23-25
    • State listens to communities’ concerns for water resources
    • Flushable? Not for their systems, communities say
    • Speaking of ‘flushable’ wipes …
    • eDMR news
    • Comments being accepted on changes to Water Quality Variance rules
    • MPCA hosts technical seminar on river eutrophication standards
    Published: February 26, 2016
    • Strategic planning helps sewer district go above and beyond in northern Minnesota
    • Municipal liaison looking forward to meeting with local government reps
    • New sulfate standard to protect wild rice may affect some wastewater treatment plants
    • eDMR news
    • In the news and online
    Published: December 30, 2015
    • Public notice begins for changes to make state water quality variance rules more consistent
    • Tips for submitting reports during transition to new service
    • New process for Facility Operational Awards
    Published: November 12, 2015
    • Tap into U of M program to reduce pollution, energy use
    • River eutrophication standards: What they mean for effluent limits
    • Clean water worth the price
    • Chemical additive review process now live
    • MPCA introducing new online eServices to submit DMRs
    • Environmental compliance conference Oct. 29 in Chicago
    • In the news and online: Pipes, wipes and more
    Published: September 28, 2015
    • Agencies, cities get creative to protect lakes and streams
    • Citizens Board approves sewage project, then adjourns for last time
    • Financial aid available for wastewater, stormwater projects
    • Asset management program can help preserve sewer systems
    • Nonmetallic mining permit holders need to start submitting inventory forms to new location
    • In the news and online
    Published: June 26, 2015
    • St. Cloud pilot project: Harvesting phosphorus from a wastewater side stream for fertilizer
    • eDMR news
    • New sampling requirement for MNG490000 non-metallic mining permit holders
    • Wastewater conference: Thank you to participants, congrats to award recipients
    • MCES - Empire WWTF taking the initiative to sustain environment
    • In the news and online: Wipes, recycling and nitrate costs
    Published: April 16, 2015
    • Reminder: Wastewater conference March 25-27
    • eDMR update: MPCA working to resolve calculator inaccuracies
    Published: March 23, 2015
    • Success story: City of Biscay sewer system up and running
    • Wastewater Operations Conference set for March 25-27
    • On the agenda: Process for reviewing chemical additives
    • Breakout session for industrial facilities: Wastewater reuse and more
    • Collection System operators: Don’t let certification expire
    • Spray Irrigation Basic workshop set for May 19-21
    • IBP Operators: Attend biosolids classes to maintain certification
    • Proposed changes to water quality rules:
    • Tweet, tweet: Follow wastewater manager on Twitter
    • In the news and online: Microbeads, lawsuits and more
    • Make sure newsletter is 'On Point" for you
    Published: February 18, 2015

    Operators need contact hours to maintain certification. Learn about options available if you need hours before the 2015 Wastewater Operations Conference in late March. You must complete training before your certification expires.

    Published: January 22, 2015
    • Kings Park project to be crowned with Innovation Award
    • eDMR news: Calculator a success, more changes coming
    • MPCA amending Water Quality Variance rules to achieve consistency
    • System Collection operators should attend Wastewater Operations Conference in March
    • Survey: Vast majority say more education needed on chemical additive review process
    • Permitting questions? Check out the manual
    • Thinking ahead to spring: Is your facility ready for a release?
    • Speaking of flooding, EPA provides new guide for utilities
    • Tweet, tweet: Follow wastewater manager on Twitter
    • In the news and online
    Published: December 03, 2014
    • Spotlight on inflow and infiltration
    • Changes in water quality standards may mean changes in effluent limits
    • eDMR news
    • Is it time to ask for a reduction in monitoring related to salty discharges?
    • Survey coming soon on chemical additive review process
    Published: September 10, 2014
    • Guest column: Attitude of change (Aaron Luckstein, MPCA)
    • eDMR update: e-Services delivery
    • eDMR reminder: Sample Values spreadsheets
    • Water quality standards update: total suspended solids and river nutrient levels
    • Chloride standard implementation
    • Spotlight on Curtis Creek: from "limited value" to trout hot spot
    • Preparedness: Bypasses and releases: what you need to know
    • Training opportunities: Spray Irrigation refresher courses
    Published: June 10, 2014
    • eDMR news: Changes to MPCA e-Services delivery
    • Sampling and monitoring updates: Got TKN?
    • Water quality standards: Triennial review; Total suspended solids and river nutrient levels
    • Spotlight: Legacy funding flowing through Minnesota
    • Preparedness: Don't get soaked
    • Training: Annual Wastewater Operations Conference (March 26-28)
    Published: March 05, 2014
    • eDMR news: NEW! Sample Values spreadsheets now available
    • Non-eDMR water quality submittals
    • Salty discharges: assessing monitoring data and determining next steps
    • Updated! Mass balance calculation form
    • Spotlight: Madelia hits target with habitat project
    • News and notices: Upcoming funding opportunities, Comment on water quality standards, more
    • Training: 31st Annual Innovative Approaches to Wastewater Operational Problems
    Published: December 05, 2013
    • eDMR project enters final phase: Daily Values submittal
    • Mercury sampling – Use the Buddy System to avoid costly false positives
    • Total Nitrogen: Clarification, calculation and permitting policy
    • DNR conducting loon mortality study
    • Training: 31st Annual Innovative Approaches to Wastewater
      Operational Problems
    • Training: Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Inside Threats (Online Course)
    Published: September 10, 2013
    • eDMR status update, tips and reminders
    • Land application of industrial by products permit reissuance
    • Industrial stormwater and wastewater permits: No exposure requirements
    • Variances: what, when and how
    • Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs)
    • Pandemic flu planning
    • Training notices
    Published: July 11, 2013

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