Wastewater Department

Responsibilities & Services

The Wastewater Department is responsible for wastewater collection and treatment.

  • Class A Facility, among the most complicated to operate in the State of Minnesota 
  • Rank based on our population equivalence of 27,000 and the amount of equipment in our facility; not on the size of community 
  • Capacity to treat 2.96 million gallons of wastewater per average day with a peak wet weather flow of 6.2 million gallons 
  • Received six MPCA Certificates of Commendation Awards in Excellence in Maintenance and Operations
  • Six lift stations at various locations throughout St. James that lift wastewater that is unable to gravity flow to the wastewater facility to be treated; these lift stations are constantly monitored by the SCADA system
  • Clean effluent from plant flows into St. James Creek on into the Minnesota River and eventually finds its way into the Mississippi River

2012 Facility Upgrades

  • 2012 plant upgrade to satisfy MPCA requirements enables delivery of clean effluent water into outfall 
  • Upgrades included Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) to reduce the amount of phosphorus in effluent 
  • Project included a Belt Filter Press for pressing bio-solids, Ultra Violet Disinfection which replaced chlorine and sulfur dioxide, and a SCADA system to monitor operations
  • 2012 upgrade and all prior upgrades have been made on the site of the Trickling Filter Plant built in 1953
  • In 1966 a DAF unit was added that was modernized in 1991 to an Activated Sludge Facility 
  • The original plant in St. James was just inside the City limits on the south side of the Hammond Highway and was made up of two Imhoff Cones. That brick building still stands and is used for storage 

Biosolid Disposal

  • Pressing biosolids has enabled the City of St. James to work with a local farmer/agronomist to begin an unprecedented program in the state of Minnesota 
  • While most cities and facilities are paying to have their biosolids removed or requiring expensive equipment and man hours, St. James's by-product is picked up free for beneficial use 

For More Information

If you have any questions or need to report a problem of any kind call City Hall at (507) 375-3241 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm or after hours call the Watonwan County Communication Center at (507) 375-3121.