PUC lets landfill dispose of leachate

NEW ULM — The New Ulm Public Utilities Commission (PUC) agreed to allow Brown County Landfill to dispose of leachate in the New Ulm’s Wastewater Plant.

The PUC accepted the contract between the Brown County Landfill and the PUC Wastewater Department.

Leachate is any liquid that in the course of passing through matter extracts any other component of that material through which it passed. In this case, leachate is rain water that passes through solid waste at the landfill. Brown County Landfill produces approximately 1,300 gallons of leachate per year.

Disposal of leachate was not a problem for the landfill until recently. The remaining landfill field cannot handle all the leachate produced due to increased limits on plastic waste.

Wastewater Supervisor Dan O’Connor said his department already takes leachate from Watonwan County and taking additional leachate from Brown County is no concern at this time.

Brown County Landfill estimates it will haul 500,000 gallons of leachate a year to New Ulm’s wastewater facility for treatment. This is an average of 8,000 gallons a day. O’Connor said the city already treats 3 million gallons a day.

The Wastewater Department is charging five cents per gallon to treat the leachate. If 500,000 gallons are treated in a year that is an addition of $25,000 in revenue.

O’Connor said if the treatment of leachate begins to have a negative effect on New Ulm’s wastewater treatment, the contract would become null and void.

Public Power Week

Derek Nelson informed the commission Public Power Week (PPW) was scheduled from Oct. 8 through Oct. 12. PPW was created by the American Public Power Association to encourage communities to celebrate the benefits that public power can provide such as local ownership, not for profit services, combined heat and power.

Over 2,000 public utilities will celebrate PPW across the United States by hosting facility tours, holding open houses and sponsoring events.

This year the NUPUC is celebrating PPW by hosting a customer appreciation event at German Park Thursday Oct. 11. The event will begin at 4 p.m. or 4: 30 p.m. and last two to two and a half hours.

Customers will be served hotdogs, chips, cookies and popcorn. The event will also feature a display informing customers how local public utilities are called upon in mutual aid efforts. Nelson said this year the band “No Tent” will be playing during the celebration. No Tent is a blue-grass band from the Twin Cities.

The total coast of the event is not expected to exceed $5,000. Nelson said the event was in the budget for 2018.

The commission approved the budgeted request for the annual PPW celebration.

In other news, Gas Supervisor Dave O’Brien presented a final report from Lake Superior Consulting on a gas distribution system analysis. Lake Superior Consulting was hired in 2017 to analyze New Ulm’s entire pipeline system.

The consulting firm looked for any bottlenecks and places where pressure could drop below 3-psi on the 5-psi system. The only area of concern is the future development in the Westridge Road area. This will be addressed by adding a new regulating station when the new Armory addition is developed in 2019 and 2020. There will be a four-inch 80-psi line installed to the Armory and a new 5-psi line will be bored under Highway 14 and connected near Menards.

Other future expansion areas would be south on Highway 15 and west on County Road 13. These routes would require crossing the Cottonwood River by boring under the river or with a bridge crossing.


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