City wastewater exceeded Wolf Treatment Plant chemical limits in January

Officials: Problem addressed but pH levels still being monitored

Wastewater flowing from the city of Shawano to the Wolf Treatment Plant in Wescott twice violated chemical discharge limits in January, according to a letter from the plant to the Shawano Department of Public Works.

Plant Administrator Jerry Weisnicht sent an official Notice of Violation last month to Public Works Coordinator Eddie Sheppard citing two occasions when the city’s effluent was above pH levels allowed by the treatment plant.

“These discharges can seriously damage the operations of the treatment process,” Weisnicht wrote.

Weisnicht noted that any discharge to the plant with a pH value above 9.0 is a violation.

According to the letter, there was a discharge from the city on January 4 with a pH value of 9.4, and another on Jan. 10 with a pH value of 9.02.

The values, which range from 1 to 14, measure the acidity of wastewater.

Sheppard said the two incidents in January arose with an issue Wisconsin Film & Bag was having with the chemicals it uses to clean plastics.

“They got some bad material and that raised the pH level of the effluent,” he said.

Sheppard said the DPW worked with Film & Bag to resolve the issue and get pH values back in line.

Mike Schuler, chairman of the Wolf Treatment Plant Commission, said the issue has been resolved.

“They worked it out, so there’s no problem,” he said.

However, the potential for future problems still exists given that the plant’s pH limit is 9, while the limit for the wastewater flowing through the city is a pH value of 10.

That wastewater is normally diluted enough by the time it reaches the plant to not be a problem.

It would be the Wolf Treatment Plant’s problem if pH values are exceeded.

“That puts our license in jeopardy,” Schuler said.

He said there has been discussion with the city about lowering the city’s pH limit to conform with the plant’s.