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Marathon phosphorus credit buys should drop

Marathon City will buy over three thousand dollars of phosphorus credits from MilTrim Farms, Athens, to offset wastewater treatment plant discharges in 2020, but, looking ahead, these purchases should lessen, village administrator Andy Kurtz told the Marathon Utility Commission last week Wednesday.

The administrator said the village would buy $3,271 in phosphorus credits from the dairy farm. The village discharged 94 pounds of phosphorus to the Big Rib River in the fourth quarter of 2020, which is 59 pounds over its DNR permit.

The purchase calculates to $55 a pound. MilTrim farms generates the credits by using no till cropping and planting cover crops. Kurtz said the farm generated 15,000 pounds of phosphorus credits this past year.

“We are taking but a small chunk of what they are producing,” he said.

Kurtz said the village wastewater treatment plant is running more effi ciently than in 2019 when it was estimated plant phosphorus discharges to the Big Rib River would be 675 pounds annually. The annual predicted discharge in 2021, he said, should be around 300 pounds.

With the lower discharges, the village will be able to purchase fewer phosphorus credits, Kurtz said.

The administrator added that a new Aeromod facility now being designed for the village should discharge even less phosphorus to the Big Rib River.

In other commission business:

_ Utility supervisor Ken Bloom said village officials met with Strand Associates, Madison, for a design meeting for the new wastewater treatment plant. He said a remaining issue is to locate the pipe that discharges effluent to the Big Rib River.

“This is the biggest area of concern,” he said. The village, Bloom said, hopes to send an imaging machine into the river outfall pipe and plot out where the pipe is located.