The Power of Community

Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade

ABNR Groundbreaking Event

The WWTP is required to comply with new stringent phosphorus limits mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources by 2025.  The Utility’s engineering firm, Applied Technologies, determined the WWTP will be unable to meet the new level of effluent phosphorus limits with only operational improvements and minor facility modifications.   A study completed by Applied Technologies recommends the treatment process Advanced Biological Nutrient Recovery (ABNR) for Waupun’s WWTP to achieve compliance with its phosphorus limits in the Rock River Basin.  The ABNR system is an algae-based system capable of recovering phosphorus and nitrogen into harvested algae biomass. Click here to watch a video on Advanced Biological Nutrient Recovery (ABNR) for Simple, Chemical-Free Nutrient Recovery.

Waupun’s wastewater treatment facility upgrade currently under construction will utilize an Advanced Biological Nutrient Recovery (ABNR) system which is a biological wastewater treatment solution that uses algae to consume overabundant nutrients and achieve ultra-low nutrient levels mandated by the WDNR. The nutrients targeted for recovery are primarily phosphorus, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide as they are detrimental to watersheds. The ABNR system utilizes four phases: 1) Mix phase (labeled #1 in the center of the picture above), 2) Recovery phase (label #2 to the left) uses a greenhouse system to produce algae from nutrients in the wastewater, and 3) & 4) Separate and Harvest building (label #3 & #4 at the bottom of the photo) processes the algae to a finished byproduct to be sold as a raw material that can be used in manufactured goods. Label #5 at the top of the photo is a new biosolids storage building used to house a nutrient-rich organic byproduct from Waupun’s traditional wastewater treatment process.


 Photo Credit: Steve Biever


An open house was held at the Utility Office to the public on December 18, 2019. Valuable information was presented about the planned treatment process being implemented to meet the new phosphorus limits, along with information on the sewer rate increase required to pay for the improvements. 

On September 2, 2020, Waupun Utilities and the City of Waupun signed papers for the closing of the USDA Loan. Completion of the USDA Loan process is a vital component to the Waste Water Treatment ABNR Upgrade process that will provide the necessary funding to allow us to move forward with the project. We want to thank Steve Schramm, Steve Brooks, Jeff Stanek, Dan Vande Zande, Jared Oosterhouse and Randy Posthuma for all of your diligence and hard work in making this happen. 

USDA Loan Signing

Pictured: Julie Giese, USDA; Jeff Stanek, Finance Director Waupun Utilities; Steve Brooks, General Manager Waupun Utilities;
Steve Schramm, Treatment Facilities and Operations Superintendent Waupun Utilities


Wastewater Facility ABNR Project Update and Projected Timeline:

  • 9/2/2020 - Design engineering is at the 95% completion mark
  • 9/2/2020 - USDA application and signing process was completed
  • 10/1/2020 - WDNR design submittal and review
  • 10/1/2020 - USDA design submittal and review
  • 1/2/2021 - Project bid date
  • 2/1/2021 - Bid award and notice to proceed
  • 2023 - Projected project completion date


Educational and Communication Material

Rate Comparison Insert

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Residential Customer Open House Information

Non-Residential Customer Open House Information