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NARRATIVE: The Fond du Lac (FDL) Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility, soon to be called “The 
Fond du Lac Regional Resource Recovery Facility,” is a continuously changing and ever-improving water 
and resource recovery complex.  Fond du Lac is a 7.5 MGD activated sludge facility with temperature 
phased anaerobic digestion.  Raw products like domestic, industrial, and high strength waste enter the 
facility and finished products such clean water, biogas, electricity, and valuable, nutrient rich soil 
amendments are produced.   

At first glance, the facility appears to be like most other wastewater treatment plants around the world, 
but a more in depth look will reveal a number of differences.  The differences begin with the attitude 
and willingness of our 19 highly motivated and educated staff to not only accept but also drive change.  
The staff’s ultimate goal is not to simply meet effluent permit limits but make impactful changes to the 
local and regional watershed.  The attitude at FDL is to do more and do it better than ever before, 
employing a more complex and thorough understanding of the treatment processes.  Challenges are 
met head-on by a team of professionals that not only look for a better way, but are determined to find a 
better way. 

A significant part of the motivation of the staff stems from the beliefs of the organization.  Our 
management team encourages continued education and training opportunities because we know our 
organization is responsible for much more than meeting permit effluent limits.  Our team realizes that 
making clean water, biogas, electricity and beneficial reuse products in the most efficient and 
economical way has shifted the status of the department to a Utility of the Future within our city 
structure, surrounding community, and nation-wide.   

Our staff has worked with local industries, not against them, to help them grow and to help treat their 
wastes as economically as possible.  We are participating in increased efforts outside of our community 
and helping make a difference in our local watershed with the monitoring of water quality at 17 
watershed sampling sites county-wide.  Both inside and outside the fence of our facility, our staff is 
making our environment better.  Being progressive and thinking outside the box is evident when you see 
our team using DNA analysis to optimize facility operating conditions or when you see our lab staff 
measuring soluble non-reactive phosphorus on a daily basis to better determine if we can meet a future 
predicated effluent phosphorus limit of 0.04 mg/L. 

The FDL team is always looking for ways to improve, innovate, and create a better pathway to water 
quality.  We strive to find solutions to problems and create ways to offset costs and generate revenue, 
and in the process, shape our future.  Our organization is in the early stages of becoming a Utility of the 
Future, but the strong leadership, attitude, and drive that the staff displays is like that of a mature Utility 
of the Future, and the changes and projects underway clearly demonstrate that.   

The facility is operated with reduced energy consumption and costs to our rate-payers at the forefront 
of our decision making.  Energy conservation is noticeable throughout the facility and operating as 
efficiently as possible is paramount.  The activated sludge process is operated at low dissolved oxygen 
set points and biological phosphorus removal is encouraged.  There is also LED lighting around the entire 
complex and all equipment is operated at levels that promote the least amount of energy use possible.  
When purchasing equipment, energy consumption plays an impactful role in the decision making 
process.  Projects have been completed and are currently underway to conserve even more electricity, 
and at the same time treat and recover more resources than ever before.  The most significant energy 
savings and resource recovery project on the horizon for 2017 includes the installation of a