The Power of Community

Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade

ABNR Groundbreaking Event

Photo Credit: Tiffany Joy Photography

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

Groundbreaking Event

The groundbreaking ceremony was held May 6, 2021 at the Waste Water Treatment Facility to celebrate the beginning of construction of our new ABNR upgrade project. 

Individuals present to help celebrate the event were: Utility Commissioners Peter Kaczmarski, Jeff Homan, Rohn Bishop; Amy Resop, State Legislative Liaison for Senator Ron Johnson, Michael Schraa, Wisconsin State Assembly Representative from District 53 – Oshkosh; USDA Members Nate Billinghurst, Joseph Dorava, Scott Schatschneider, Jessica Mancel; Applied Technologies Jim Smith, Leo Kucek, Katie Hassing, Dan Sheer; Miron Construction Dave LaBarge and Todd Sabourin; CLEARAS Water Recovery Jordan Lind, Autumn Fisher; Mulcahy-Shaw Tom Mulcahy, Ryan Mulcahy, Rich Knoelke ; Kenneth Thomas, Beaver Dam Daily Citizen; Waupun Utilities Staff Steve Schamm, Steve Brooks, Jeff Stanek, Darren Sytsma, Chad Veleke, Ben Smith, Ryan Hoffman, Jen Benson.

ABNR Project Information

ABNR Project Information


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
  • 5/6/2021 - Ground Breaking Event
  • 2023 - Projected project completion date


Wastewater Utility User Increase

The Waupun Utility Commission and Common Council voted on September 13th to approve a sewer rate increase of 4% to current monthly minimum fixed charge and volume charges for non-major contributing industry customers. These customers will see a slight change reflected on their billed October usage that will be generated the first week of November 2022. Customer communication pertaining to the Wastewater Utility User Charges will be included with the September usage billing statements. The wastewater user notice is shown in the links below in addition to the approved resolution which describes in more detail why the necessary increase.

Waupun Wastewater Utility User Charge Notice

Resolution No. 09-13-22-02 Approving Sewer Rate Adjustments


2019 Educational and Communication Material

Rate Comparison Insert

Frequently Asked Questions

Residential Customer Open House Information

Non-Residential Customer Open House Information