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Projects Database

Zero Discharge Pilot Project

Project Information

Award Amount:$100,000.00
Dollars Leveraged:$519,000.00
Start-End Dates:9/1/95-8/31/98
Description:Summary: The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) developed an integrated multimedia program to reduce the discharge of mercury using “front end” pollution prevention techniques with hospitals, clinics, educational institutions, laboratories, and dental practices.

Environmental Results/Products: The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District staff conducted site visits at hospitals, clinics, educational institutions, laboratories, and dental practices to evaluate prevention, recycling, or treatment opportunities to reduce or eliminate mercury discharges. WLSSD assisted each customer with developing pollution prevention strategies and promoted implementation of these plans. In addition, staff secured a commitment of zero discharge from WLSSD’s own facilities. The WLSSD staff and local dentists have developed a process for recycling amalgam waste and strategies for recycling training. Staff have evaluated advanced treatment systems to reduce mercury discharges from dentists.

WLSSD staff identified many mercury-containing sources in hospitals from histopathology labs. Trap cleaning has demonstrated an abundance of historic mercury. An investigation of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, showed widespread use of mercury containing equipment and poor management of all potential mercury sources. An audit revealed mercury-free equipment replacement costs are approximately $10,000. The University is now replacing all equipment and will be line cleaning to remove historic sources of mercury. WLSSD developed the Blueprint for Mercury Elimination: a Guide for Wastewater Treatment Plants as part of the Zero Discharge Pilot Project. The blueprint, funded by the Great Lakes Protection Fund, is available from WLSSD.


There are no reports associated with this project.

Funding Organizations

Below is a list of organizations with individual contacts that are funding this project.

U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office - Primary Contact

77 W Jackson Blvd
Chicago, Illinois 60604
There are no individuals in this organization
associated with this project.

Organizations Receiving Funding

Below is a list of organizations with individual contacts that are receiving funding for this project.

Western Lake Superior Sanitary District - Primary Contact

2626 Courtland Stree
Duluth, Minnesota 55806
p: 218-722-3336
Individual Contacts

GLRPPR is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange, a national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WSPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest).


One East Hazelwood Drive; Champaign, IL; 61820; (800) 407-0261;