UPDATED: Wastewater Released Into Cannon River In Northfield
UPDATE 1:37PM July 24, 2019: KDHL/Power 96 was able to speak to Aaron Luckstein, manager of the Municipal Wastewater Section, from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency about the Monday wastewater release in Northfield. Mr. Luckstein did confirm the wastewater release to KDHL/Power 96 news, and stated that it was currently an "on-going investigation".
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency did state that at this time there were "no determining factors" that have been determined to have caused the discharge of the wastewater material from the treatment facility. It was noted in the conversation that was had with Mr. Luckstein that currently the Cannon River is in a flood stage and floodwaters are known to be dirty in nature. The Minnesota PCA is and does advocate caution to anyone who is planning to recreate on the Cannon River with it still being in a flood stage.
The PCA stated that on Monday the City of Northfield did collect samples from the Cannon River and that after testing by the Pollution Control Agency, the samples were found to be below the levels of concern for fecal bacteria. The Pollution Control Agency will not be testing those samples any further, although the City of Northfield could choose to test those samples further if they chose to do so.
The wastewater facility in Northfield processes materials from both domestic sources like your sink, toilet, or washing machine as well as waste materials from industrial sources like metal finishing services.
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A malfunctioning alarm may be to blame for a maximum of 5,500 gallons of wastewater being released into the Cannon River on Monday in Northfield. According to a release on the City of Northfield's website, there aren't any health concerns for the public.
The release states that early on Monday, July 22nd, "a wastewater tank overflowed releasing a maximum of 5,500 gallons of wastewater into the Cannon River."
the City of Northfield stated that there is "equipment in place to prevent the overflow." An alarm that is to alert wastewater facility staff of elevated tank levels, "did not work properly".
At the time staff realized the release they "notified Minnesota Pollution Control Agency immediately" and also took water samples that were tested.
The release went on to say that the City of Northfield is "conducting an internal investigation" into the release of wastewater into the Cannon River.
We reached out to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency this morning and will update this post with their comments in regard to the malfunction, and any concerns they have over the release.