A pilot study to test if a new treatment process can work for Chetek’s wastewater was installed at Chetek’s wastewater treatment plant last week and began running on Friday, Feb. 7. The process, developed by Gross-Wen Technologies, of Iowa, uses algae growing on rotating belts to remove things like phosphorous and nitrogen from the wastewater, down to permitted levels. The small-scale test, housed in a portable greenhouse, will see if the process can work in Chetek. It has eight, 1-foot-wide belts in 100-liter tanks. Flow rates can be adjusted to four or eight hours, to simulate a full-scale model. Algae is currently growing on the belts and being inoculated to Chetek’s wastewater. The first test of the wastewater is planned for Sunday, March 1. City council members also toured the plant on Tuesday, Feb. 11. Pictured above, wastewater treatment plant manager Rod Rhodes inspects the belts on Monday, Feb. 10.

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