The Wastewater Utility provides wastewater treatment for the City of Menomonie. The wastewater plant treats only the wastewater that flows through the sanitary sewer system (toilets, sinks, floor drains, industrial process water, etc). The storm sewer system (street and parking lot drains) is separate and flows directly to Lake Menomin or the Red Cedar River.
The wastewater treatment plant has a Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit issued by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. This permit imposes strict discharge limits and monitoring requirements on the wastewater treatment plant. Just before being discharged to the Red Cedar River; the wastewater is sampled on a flow-proportional basis, 24 hours per day, 5 days per week, year round. The results are reported to the DNR to ensure that requirements are being met.
The wastewater is tested for biochemical oxygen demand, total phosphorus, total suspended solids, ammonia, and pH daily. The wastewater is disinfected with ultra-violet light from May 1st to September 30th each year. During that time, E. coli bacteria analysis is performed to ensure the UV light is killing any harmful organisms. The wastewater is also periodically tested for acute and chronic whole effluent toxicity and mercury.
Please feel free to contact the wastewater treatment plant staff if you have any questions.
Good Sewer Practices
- Don't use your toilet as if it were a trash can. Personal wipes (even those that say "flushable"), baby wipes, cat litter, diapers, dental floss, Q-tips, feminine hygiene products, tissues, plastic items, etc all belong in the trash and not down the toilet or sink.
- Store kitchen grease in a container, let it harden, then dispose of it in the trash.
- The garbage disposal is not a substitute for trash or compost. Use your disposal sparingly. Food scraps should be put in the trash or composted. (If it goes down the drain you are paying to clean the water and for the disposal of the material - twice the expense). Coffee grounds, eggshells, and almost all kitchen scraps except meat, cheese, bones and dairy products can go in a compost pile.
- Use a fine screen in your shower drain to catch hair and a fine screen on the laundry hose to catch lint.
- Hazardous materials such as solvents, anti-freeze, oil based paints, and mercury or mercury containing compounds should not go down the drain. Unused medications can be disposed of at the Dunn County Sheriff's Department. Hazardous materials can be disposed of during the City's Clean Sweep Hazardous Waste collection event.
- What do I do if my sewer backs up?
- Call the Wastewater Treatment Plant, 715-232-2175 during business hours (6:30 am - 3:00 pm). After hours, weekends and holidays call 715-232-1283 and we will be contacted.
- City staff will check out the sewer main line and inform you if the blockage is in the City's main sewer or if it is in your private pipe from your building to the sewer main (lateral).
- In the case of the private pipe (lateral) from your building to the sewer main, the City is not responsible and we will inform you of that.
- Will my homeowners insurance cover damage from sewer backups?
Probably not unless your policy specifically covers sewers, sumps and drains. It is a good idea to contact your insurance company if you do not know if you have this coverage.
- Why do I smell sewer gas in my dwelling?
All drains and fixtures in a dwelling are supposed to be hooked to a vent pipe that extends up through the roof to expel back pressure in your plumbing system. Drains are protected from gas escaping into a dwelling by a "gooseneck" or water trap in the drain. This is true for floor drains, sinks, and toilets. If this water in the trap evaporates because of extended non-use, the gas can escape into the dwelling. A simple solution is to add water to that drain and any drain which is not used that often. If this does not solve the problem, it would be a good idea to have your venting system inspected.
- Is it OK to flush "flushable" wipes?
No. Flushing any type of wipes, even if labeled as "flushable", may cause the pipes to clog and raw sewage to back up into your home or business. Toilet paper is the only paper product that should be flushed.
- The water in my toilet just sprayed into the air and made a mess. What's going on here?
The sewer utility crews use a high-pressure jet of water to clean the sanitary sewers in the street. The sewer system in your home or business is vented through a pipe that runs up through your walls and out your roof. This venting system is designed to relieve pressure in the sewer system so gases in the piping come out through the pipe in your roof, and not through your toilet or drains. If this is what is occurring, then your venting system may be plugged. sometimes this is caused by birds or squirrels building a nest in the vent pipe on your roof. It would be a good idea to have your plumbing system inspected.
- Where can I dump the holding tank on my RV?
There is an RV and Septic dumping site at the intersection of Wilson Avenue W and River Road. It is in the parking lot next to the big blue tanks. There is no charge for RV waste.
- Can I put anti-freeze or motor oil down the drain?
Do not dispose of your used anti-freeze or motor oil down the sewer. The sewer use ordinance also prohibits the dumping of such material down the drain. The City Solid Waste Site accepts used motor oil from City residents during their normal open hours. Anti-freeze is accepted during the City's annual Clean Sweep Hazardous Waste collection event.