Community Gets Inside Look at UW-Superior's Ballast Water Treatment Facility

Ryan Juntti
Updated: August 20, 2019 10:28 PM

Aquatic invasive species in our Great Lakes have become a growing problem, but now there's a new push from the University of Wisconsin-Superior to address them.

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Aquatic invasive species are often caused from ballast water. This is water on commercial vessels that is often discharged when cargo is unloaded.

Each year ships from around the world travel the Great Lakes, which means ballast water is often discharged into them, and therefore so are aquatic invasive species.

"It's really important that people know that we're working on a solution to that problem, and that is happening right in their backyard," said Kelsey Prihoda, a researcher for the Lake Superior Research Institute.

That solution is coming through the University of Wisconsin-Superior's ballast water treatment facility. On Tuesday, the community was able to check it out for themselves.

"I think people are curious about what we do around here, and we want to be able to just tell people a little bit about the issue of aquatic nuisance species in the Great Lakes," said Prihoda.

"You never think of the testing that has to go on for our water that ultimately ends up here in the lake, or in our water system, and I'm just amazed how much they do here," said David Dusek, a Superior community member.

Dusek and other community members went through eight stations showing them how local scientists and engineers collect and analyze samples during ballast water treatment technology testing.

Those treatment technologies could one day be used on board commercial vessels.

At the end of the day, it's all about make sure our Great Lakes are preserved for generations to come.

"We have a huge resource here. We don't want to waste it, we don't want to have problems with it. We love living here. The water we get out of the city tastes great, and everything so it's really important," said Dusek.

UW-Superior began operating the facility in May.


Ryan Juntti

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