Zumbrota signs new DFA wastewater treatment permit

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By Tara Chapa

ZUMBROTA – The Zumbrota City Council approved a revised Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) permit at its July 24 meeting.  DFA had nearly $5,000 in violations in July.

As stated in the permit, DFA continuously uses whole milk and whey to manufacture cheese and dairy products.  It is a continuous process, so wastewater is always being discharged to the city sewer system.

The permit also states the following:

• The flow parameter shall not be subject to any permit parameter at this time

• During the interim permit period both the City of Zumbrota and Dairy Farmers of America will be exploring options regarding the flow

• The pH shall not be less than 6.5 nor greater than 10.0. These upper and lower limitations are not subject to averaging and shall be met at all times.

• There shall be no discharge of visible foam in other than trace amounts. The discharge shall not contain oil or other substances in amounts sufficient to create a visible color film on the surface of the wastewater

• There shall be no discharge of grease and/or milk fats.

The permit states that DFA should submit to the city, once a month, a report containing the daily records of wastewater flow. The report must be submitted no later than the tenth of each month. The average daily flow as well as the total flow for the month shall be calculated. 

If requested, DFA shall submit to the city  a report containing daily records of whole milk and whey received from shipment as privileged information. The failure to submit a monthly report shall be considered a violation of the conditions of this discharge permit and shall be subject to the violations procedures as set forth in this permit.

The city may suspend the wastewater treatment service and/or discharge permit when such suspension is necessary, according to the procedures described in the wastewater discharge ordinance or if there are 20 permit violations during a 60-day period.

The city may revoke this permit if DFA fails to factually report the wastewater constituents and characteristics of its discharge; fails to report significant changes in wastewater constituents or characteristics; refuses reasonable access to its premises for the purpose of inspection or monitoring; or violates conditions of the permit, the wastewater discharge ordinance or applicable state and federal regulations.

Future reconstruction plan

City Administrator Neil Jensen updated the council on which construction projects had been completed since a strategic plan had been announced in 2005.  Moving forward, he hopes to continue with the plan to upgrade roads in the city.

Some completed streets in the construction plan announced in 2005 are: West 3rd Street (Main St to Mill St), West 4th Street (West Ave to Mill St), West Avenue (CSAH 68 to West 5th St), Mill St (CSAH 68 to Mill St), West 2nd Street (Mill St to Jefferson Ave), East 14th Street (Main St to East Ave).

Total projected cost for all planned construction projects for road improvement in Zumbrota from 2005 to 2015 was $1,074,776.04. The city will now begin finalizing a strategic reconstruction plan for 2015-25.  Projects that were not completed in the original plan will go into the new planning.

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