March 2021

March 2021

Inside the Newsletter:

Baudette Case Study | Laura Sevcik | Green Chem InternMnTAP is Hiring

City of Baudette, MN: Wastewater Operations Changes Produce Big Returns

Achieving cleaner water is the goal of all wastewater treatment professionals. The LCCMR Nutrient Optimization Project Team has been working with pond system operations staff since 2018 to identify strategies to improve treatment. The City of Baudette, MN wastewater system had phosphorus levels in 2018 (4.6 mg/l) and 2019 (3.8 mg/l) that required the addition of ferric chloride to achieve the required level of <1 mg/l phosphorus in the discharge effluent.

Operations staff from the City of Baudette, MN partnered with Minnesota Rural Water Association (MRWA), MnTAP and the rest of the team to reduce phosphorus, minimize the use of ferric chloride and improve the overall performance of the facility. Over the course of this work several new operational strategies were implemented bringing their pond nutrient treatment to the next level, and eliminating the need for chemical treatment.

Operational changed implemented to decrease effluent nutrient load:

  • Switch to a ‘Flow Through’ operational strategy to increase hydraulic retention time and maintain steady treatment conditions in a deep first pond.
  • Utilize the full volume of the system by using all three ponds in series.
  • Allow beneficial aquatic plants to grow and uptake nutrients.
  • Maintain wastewater flow through the system and avoid hold up in pipes.
  • Reduce inflow and infiltration to maximize treatment time for true wastewater.
  • Utilize bioaugmentation to reduce sludge thickness and increase hydraulic retention time.

As a result of implementing ‘Flow Through’ Operation in 2020 and a series of other changes since 2019, the Baudette operations team has seen their nutrient treatment improve dramatically, achieving a phosphorus effluent level of 0.4 mg/l with no ferric chloride treatment needed. This work resulted in elimination of purchase and application of 6,600 gal ferric chloride saving $22,000.


MnTAP Welcomes Laura Sevcik

headshot of Laura S

Welcome the newest member of the MnTAP team, Laura Sevcik.  Laura will be working as a Pollution Prevention Specialist focusing on the TCE Alternatives Project. She recently finished her master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Laura has experience with additive manufacturing including her master’s project which focused on evaluating the impact of heat treatment on the final properties of 3D printed parts. Her interests lie in reducing environmental impacts from manufacturing processes through practical means.

Laura is excited to join MnTAP and provide technical assistance to MN businesses!

Laura Sevcik – Associate Engineer

Green Chemistry Intern Opportunity from MPCA

The MPCA is seeking project proposals from host organizations for a Green Chemistry & Engineering internship at a Minnesota facility in summer 2021.

  • Maximum grant funding: $12,000
  • Application deadline for host organizations: April 16, 2021

Refer to the posted request for proposals (RFP) for full details on project types and eligibility, who may apply, and other information that will help applicants submit a proposal.

Information about the Safer Product Chemistry Program can be found on the MPCA website.

MnTAP is Hiring!

We are looking for great candidates to apply for the position of Associate Engineer. This position will provide general technical assistance with a focus on energy efficiency and providing energy efficiency training for the wastewater sector.

Important responsibilities of this position include:

  • Serve as a technical resource for Minnesota businesses seeking to reduce hazardous material use and emissions
  • Conduct outreach to businesses across Minnesota and engage facilities in MnTAP services
  • Supervise student intern and manage collaborative partner research projects
  • Create and update resources for post on the MnTAP website and as communication materials
  • Conduct technical training and give technical presentation in areas of expertise

Minimum qualifications include a BA/BS with a technical focus and 2 years of related experience; or a combination of related experience and education to equal six years. 

Interested candidates should apply through the University of Minnesota Job Application System. Pollution Prevention Specialist position has been posted and is job opening 339621.


If you would like more infromation about the Associate Engineer position, contact:

Jon Vanyo – Engineer