City of Bemidji

First City on the Mississippi!

Wastewater Treatment Facility

Mural by Wesley May
Mural by Wesley May

The City of Bemidji operates a Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) designed to treat municipal waste water. The effluent is collected through a series of pipes totaling approximately 80 miles and has 31 lift stations.

Bemidji's WWTF was completed in 1985 at a cost of $12 million. The plant has a design capacity of 2 million gallons per day. Currently the plant treats approximately 1.2 million gallons per day. The plant operates under a permit issued by the state of Minnesota which imposes effluent limits. Bemidji's plant has the strictest limit for phosphorus discharge in the state at .3 mg/l (milligrams per liter).

The City of Bemidji is the first major discharger of wastewater to the Mississippi River, and has a phosphorus effluent limitation of 0.3 mg/l which is the most stringent in Minnesota and among the lowest in the United States.


The Plant
The Plant
average effluent limitations

  • Total P – 0.3 mg/l
  • CBOP – 25 mg/l
  • TSS – 30 mg/l
  • pH – 6.0 min. 9.0 max
  • F. Coli 200 org/100 ml April through October

The Minnesota Consulting Engineers Council awarded the facility the "Grand Award" price in the 1986 Engineering Excellence Competition and has since been awarded with various operational awards and recognitions since startup.


Attached Document or FileWastewater Management Proper Disposal of Fats, Oil & Grease