This story was collected as part of a collaborative effort to record the state of American lakes, rivers, and waterways as well an attempt to uncover what water means to Americans. Listen to other stories recorded for the Be Here: Main Street project, a collaboration with the MuseWeb Foundation to record stories from rural America.
Scott Gilbertson of Detroit Lakes' Public Utilities chats about the history of water treatment in the area, beginning with the waste water facility built in 1929, that still treats about 1.2 million gallons of water each day, serving some 9,400 people. "They were on the cutting edge in the state of Minnesota, before then waste water just flowed into any available stream or river . . . The facility had significant upgrades in the late '60s, the '70s, and the last one in 1995 . . . Currently, we're in design of a large upgrade, a state of the art membrane bioreactor . . . The new facility will eliminate 99% of phosphorous in the water."