NEW Water sewage facility works to fight algae in the Bay

Published 08/04 2014 05:26PM

Updated 08/04 2014 06:57PM

GREEN BAY, Wis (WFRV)-- 30 million gallons of water a day come through the NEW Water Sewage Plant in Green Bay. 

After a 20 hour purifying process—the water is pushed back into the Bay and is much cleaner than the water that’s already there.

“Our solid numbers are far lower than they are in the Fox lower River.  Just to be able to treat water and discharge it into our waters that is cleaner, certainly helps the environment," said NEW Water Dir. of Operations, Pat Wescott.

That’s just one way they fight to keep our waterways clean, but they also test the surrounding water for contaminants and alga blooms.

NEW Water Water Resources Specialist, Erin Wilcox said, “We’ve got a lot of nutrients coming in from our contributing rivers and water shed and into a fairly warm shallow basin.”

When too much phosphorus builds up it produces bad algae which looks neon green and can be extremely harmful if ingested. 

"In this area we have a very similar issue to what's going on in the western basin of Lake Erie," said Wilcox.

The excess algae has not impacted the drinking water in the Green Bay area but Wilcox said it's a possibility in the future.

There are precautions citizens can take to help reduce algae build up.

Bill Hafs, the director of environmental programs at NEW Water  said, “The average citizen can look at what they’re putting in their gutters and streets because that goes right down to the storm sewers and directly into the water.  How much fertilizer they’re putting on their lawns.”

The treatment plant also works extensively to test our surrounding waters to ensure they’re safe.

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