Supporting Wastewater Utility Nutrient Voluntary Performance Improvement Through Training and Technical Assistance in the Red River Basin


Water Quality

Project Description

The International Joint Commission has recommended to the governments of Canada and the USA adopt objectives and targets for nitrogen and phosphorus at the Red River international boundary to help address eutrophication concerns in the Red River and Lake Winnipeg. These objectives and targets, while non-regulatory in nature, are intended to provide impetus for, and guide reductions in, point and nonpoint sources to address localized and downstream eutrophication concerns in the Red River Basin. Efforts are underway by individual and collective jurisdictions to study, evaluate and implement nonpoint source practices that effectively reduce nutrients in the RRB. This project provided the opportunity to support improvements at wastewater utility point sources.

This proposal implemented basin-wide wastewater facility optimization training and on-site technical assistance for both mechanical plants and lagoons to achieve voluntary nutrient reductions. This project was designed to fulfill two of the Board’s work plan priority action to: 1) recommend appropriate strategies to the Commission concerning water quality, quantity and aquatic ecosystem health objectives in the basin; and 2) encourage the appropriate regulatory and enforcement agencies to take steps to ensure that agreed objectives are met. This project supports consistent, multi-jurisdictional and binational efforts to help address eutrophication for the entire watershed, with federal, state, and provincial involvement to provide an appropriate foundation for watershed scale prevention efforts. Optimizing the operations of wastewater facilities through training is a simple, effective and proven method for improving water quality and reducing costs.




EPA Region 8, Red River Basin Commission, North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development.