November 7, 2017

Playing Nice in the Sandbox


Out on the Minnesota prairie, west of Rochester and south of Minneapolis, two small cities have been playing nice together for almost 150 years. The cities of Kasson and Mantorville share schools, ball teams, parks and no doubt pumpkin pie recipes too.

Ten years back, when Mantorville’s waste treatment plant was found to be in need of major upgrades, the two cities began talking about the benefits of sharing treatment facilities too. With just half a mile separating the two municipalities, the infrastructure required to connect them would cost significantly less than the upgrades needed. With the added benefit of economies of scale and the ability to accommodate growth, the decision was an easy one.

Panel Erection

After a number of years of discussion between them, and input from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, an agreement was reached to build a force main connector heading south across the gap between the two cities. The eight-inch pipe passes under a river and a highway, traverses the woods and terminates at Kasson’s treatment plant. As the beneficiary of the connection, Mantorville assumed the cost of the force main.

Tank Interior

To accommodate the increased capacity, future growth and regulatory changes, Kasson assumed responsibility for the cost of upgrades to its plant, which included a new 4.3 million gallon equalization basin and a number of improvements to the process equipment. The two communities will be receiving $2.3 million in grant funding from the State of Minnesota later this year to offset the costs.

Clean Water Test of the Aeration Mixer Tank

Now that the plant is complete and the valves have been turned on, the old Mantorville treatment plant has now been shuttered and will be decommissioned during the summer of 2018. In the meantime, the two cities are looking for even more ways to play nice together.