City seeking funding toward $80 million wastewater project

The City of Albert Lea is working with local legislators to secure $40 million in state funding toward a major upgrade at the City’s wastewater treatment plant. This plant treats 3.5 million gallons of wastewater on average every day. This is where all the water from sinks, washers, tub, toilets and factory processing – 7,300 homes and businesses total – goes for cleanup. After treatment, the plant, which is located southeast of the City, discharges the water to the Shell Rock River.

At 40 years old, the plant is beyond its expected life span. In addition, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is requiring significant reductions in phosphorus, the nutrient that grows algae. Severe algal blooms cause green slimy water and use up oxygen in the river needed by fish.

The City is planning to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant, a project estimated to cost $80 million. This project is unique in Minnesota because it would both protect the environment and support 10 major industries in Albert Lea. The major industries employ 1,600 people with annual wages exceeding $85 million. In addition to the local economy, these industries support the state of Minnesota through income taxes and the nation by providing products to all 50 states.

As part of the project, the City will look for ways to improve energy efficiency, generate green energy, and provide sustainable improvements that benefit the community and state.

By investing $40 million in Albert Lea’s wastewater project, the State of Minnesota can ensure clean water and a thriving economy.

For more information about the project:

View the Capital Investment Request video.

Steven Jahnke,
Public Works Director
[email protected]

This project is critically important to our community, our future economic success and our surrounding region. Please consider contacting our local legislators to express your support for the project.

Minnesota Sen. Gene Dornink (District 37)
95 University Avenue W.
Minnesota Senate Bldg., Room 3229
St. Paul, MN 55155
[email protected]

Minnesota Rep. Peggy Bennett (District 37A)
307 State Office Building *
St. Paul, MN 55155
[email protected]