VIRGINIA, MN-- After years of trials and tests, St. Louis County is looking to pave the way in how wastewater is treated.
On Wednesday, the Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee made a stop at the St. Louis County Regional Landfill during their Northeastern Bonding Tour.
At their visit, county representatives explained why the state should invest almost $5-million for clean groundwater.
"We're doing it right now but we are going the extra step because of some of the bad actors that are out there like PFAS and boron," said St. Louis County 6th Dist. Commissioner, Keith Nelson.
Contaminants like PFAS are found in a variety of places and have been shown to cause cancer and other illnesses.
Right now leachate, or wastewater, from the landfill is collected, brought to WLSSD in Duluth for treatment, and eventually released into Lake Superior.
With this new filtration technology, St. Louis County said they can treat the water better and more efficiently on-site in Virginia.
"You got 80-feet of garbage that is 1.5 million cubic yards. It's leaching through and taking all those contaminants and we're catching them all, taking them to the pond and then making sure we are treating them along the way," said David Fink, Director at St. Louis County Environmental Services.
By using natural wetland components, their trials indicate 100% of PFAS can be eliminated from the water.
Funding can make that successful trial a regular reality.
"This constructed wetland is a pre-treatment and it will polish and start to take some of this stuff out and then all of those other components, we hope, is better then the ground water," said Fink.
If bonding dollars are approved, the water treatment project is expected to be up and running within the next five years.
St. Louis County will match the $4.5-million in state dollars if they're allocated.