Ashland wastewater treatment plant overflows, unknown impact on Lake Superior

Ashland Overflow 2023
Ashland Overflow 2023(City of Ashland, WI)
Published: Apr. 13, 2023 at 2:06 PM CDT
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ASHLAND, WI. (Northern News Now) - The Ashland Wastewater Treatment Plant is experiencing an overflow due to the snow melt.

The City of Ashland’s Facebook page states the ongoing overflow started late Monday night.

It is anticipated to stop sometime between late Thursday and early Friday due to the cooler weather forecast.

Officials state the facility can treat 3.9 million gallons of water a day.

The plant has taken in far beyond that amount every day this week.

“We do all that we can to avoid an overflow, but occasionally Mother Nature has the upper hand,” says officials on their Facebook page.

When an overflow occurs, the water is discharged into the creek next to the plant.

There was no immediate word if any of the overflow has made it into Lake Superior.

The water that overflows is sewage and stormwater mixed together.

Overflow is tested daily and usually meets the discharge permit standards set by the DNR, according to officials.

Citizens of Ashland can help by using less water, if possible.

In addition, make sure sump pumps and downspouts do not drain into the sanitary sewer.

City staff state they are continuing to monitor the situation and are taking proper precautions.

Ashland’s wastewater treatment plant has experienced a history of overflows in the past. Back in 2019, the city said about 75 million gallons had spilled into Lake Superior since 2013.

At the time, city leaders said they were working on a project to fix this issue.

No word on where that effort currently stands.