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deammonification process.  The deammonification process will help the facility realize energy savings 
and help play an impactful role in other important ways.  It will allow Fond du Lac to conserve carbon to 
better drive biological phosphorus removal and will also enable us to continue to be a facility that helps 
local industries by accepting their high strength waste which we then anaerobically digest and produce 
valuable methane gas.  Utilizing bacteria to do work instead of using electricity is always what our facility 
prefers.    

Additionally, there are many other points of interest beyond our organizational culture at the FDL facility 
that show our commitment as a Utility of the Future.  Some highlights include the following: 

• 

In 2015, we joined the Water Equipment and Policy Research Center (WEP).  WEP is a 

collaborative organization consisting of universities, private organizations, and wastewater utilities 
funding research geared toward the benefit of the water industry. 

• 

40% of our facility’s energy is produced with the use of biogas from our high strength waste. 

• 

We have significantly increased land application of our biosolids and are taking greater interest 

in managing the program in-house versus through contractual obligations.  Our biosolids application to 
land rate has increased to 70% and reduced our hauling and disposal costs by $80,000 annually.  We 
have also developed a community outreach program with information materials to hand out to area 
residents. 

• 

Since 2012, we have piloted seven new and established technologies which would aid in process 

optimization.  Piloted technologies have ranged from a full scale cerium chloride phosphorus removal 
pilot to a system operated with algae for the removal of phosphorus.  Another unique pilot was one that 
harvest struvite from the digestion process upstream of dewatering.       

• 

New equipment is trialed at our facility quite often.  One example is a current trial with a new 

submersible pump that has a variable frequency drive build into the motor. 

• 

Significant process changes have been made to the operation of our activated sludge process.  

We have cycled power on an off to our anoxic mixers, lowered dissolved oxygen set points, and have 
reduced the number of aeration basins in service all in an effort to promote biological phosphorus 
removal in a facility that was not designed for such.  All of the modifications have taken place in a period 
when facility loadings have increased. 

As illustrated, our staff willingly steps outside of their comfort zone and is not afraid to take on new and 
unknown projects or processes.  Going beyond the normal limits and getting the most out of our 
equipment, processes, and staff are the norm.  We not only embrace the concept of taking in new raw 
products and efficiently and creatively producing several beneficial and valuable end products, but also 
continuously push further, experimenting with different ideas and methods to extract and reuse 
everything possible from the wastewater flowing to our facility.  A quote from Abraham Lincoln sums up 
the attitude of our staff, “The best way to predict the future is to create it” and Fond du Lac is doing just 
that by exemplifying what it means to be a Utility of the Future. 

 

ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE