Ashland Wastewater Treatment Plant experiencing overflow

The Ashland Wastewater Treatment Plant is experiencing an overflow, due to the accelerated snowmelt brought on by unseasonable warm temps. It started late Monday night and it is anticipated to stop sometime between late Thursday and early Friday with cooler weather forecasted.

The facility can treat 3.9 million gallons of water a day but has been receiving far beyond that amount. Any flow beyond that amount is diverted to a 8.5 million gallon retention basin.

In a statement to citizens of Ashland, Brian Ledin, the Operations Manager of the plant, said, “The basin has enough capacity to handle most normal increases in flow due to wet weather, but in situations such as what we are experiencing, can overflow. When an overflow occurs, the water is discharged into the creek adjacent to the plant.”

The water that overflows is sewage and storm water mixed together.

Ledin explains, “The overflow water is tested daily and usually meets our discharge permit standards set by the DNR for Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Total Suspended Solids, pH and Phosphorus. One standard that is not met is e-coli. We do all that we can to avoid an overflow, but occasionally mother nature has the upper hand.”

Citizens of Ashland can help by using less water and making sure sump pumps and down spouts do not drain into the sanitary sewer. City staff say they are continuing to monitor the situation and taking proper precautions.