Burlington to pump out phosphorus in city’s wastewater

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 11:17 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The Burlington wastewater treatment facility may soon be extracting even more phosphorus from the water.

Currently, the wastewater plant is able to remove 95% of the phosphorus that comes into the plant. The phosphorus is partially to blame for cyanobacteria blooms in Lake Champlain.

Thanks to a statewide push that mandates the reduction of the amount going into the lake, the Burlington wastewater treatment plant is doing a trial run of three different systems that will likely extract more than 2,000 pounds of phosphorus from the wastewater each year, meeting its goals as a city water resource.

“These three different technologies represent our attempts to get out as much phosphorus as we possibly can from our wastewater stream, which we’ve determined is the most cost-effective approach for our ratepayers in meeting our obligation to our beautiful lake,” said Megan Moir, the director of Burlington Water Resources.

The systems will be tried out for more than a month and if accepted, the water department will need to go to voters for approval of the multimillion-dollar machine.