Wastewater Treatment Facility Upgrade
The City of Viroqua wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) was constructed in 1978. Treatment components have been modified and added in facility upgrades in 1994 and 2002. Even with these upgrades much of the original equipment is still in operation and in need of replacement or rehabilitation. Also a number of structures need to be modified to meet current building codes. The waterway downstream of the treatment plant outfall has exposed fractured bedrock characteristic of the region’s karst topography. In order to protect groundwater quality, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is requiring the City to relocate the outfall approximately 2 miles downstream of the WWTF beyond the fractured bedrock area.
This major wastewater treatment facility upgrade and outfall relocation has a capital cost of 10.2 million dollars. The City has received $650,000 in grant funding (principal forgiveness) from the WDNR and is also expecting $2.05 million in grant funding from the USDA Rural Development. The remaining funding will come in the form of loan financing through the WDNR and USDA. Focus on Energy grants are also being pursued.
In addition to obtaining this funding, a sewer rate increase will be required. Charges for an average residential customer (using 400 cubic feet per month) will increase from $25.40 per month to $40.13 per month as of March 1, 2016. This increase puts Viroqua’s sewer rates closer in line to similar sized systems in the area such as Richland Center, Fennimore and Westby.
A public information session about the WWTF upgrades and rate increase will be held on Thursday February 18th at 6:30pm at the Vernon Memorial Medical Office Building Meeting rooms A and B at 407 S. Main St.