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Water Resource Recovery Facility

The City of Essex Junction Water Resource Recovery Facility is a 3.3 million gallon per day advanced treatment facility that serves the City of Essex Junction and the towns of Williston and Essex. Waste Treatment began in 1965 with the original primary treatment plant. The site and facility has since gone through several modifications. The most recent upgrade began in 2012 with the facility undergoing a $15 million maintenance upgrade. This major construction work is rehabilitating existing equipment while adding new replacement treatment processes, designed for continued long-term service to the community while protecting the water quality of Lake Champlain. Water resource recovery is more than water quality protection:  It is also protecting the public health. Waste treatment was originally started to remove contaminated water from the home in order to prevent disease. This strong practice will continue with the current rehabilitation process and for generations to come.

Contact Information

Chelsea Mandigo
Water Quality Superintendent

With the water recycling processes we use, the pollution removed by the waste treatment process results in Biosolids, a regulated product that is used as a fertilizer on nearby farms which are certified to receive this material. The Biosolids are generated in an anaerobic digester where pathogens are destroyed making the material safe for recycling in accordance with State of Vermont and EPA regulatory requirements. The result of this digestion process is production of methane gas which is used to run the boilers that heat the digester and the control building. We are in the process of designing our second Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system that will generate electricity, heat the process and buildings AND reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our facility. Stay tuned for more details as the project continues through the design process.

Wastewater Sampling Program

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, wastewater surveillance sampling program for infectious disease has increased. In March 2023, the facility started participating in a new wastewater surveillance program that pays to provide weekly samples of our solids. These samples are tested for six infectious diseases: COVID-19, Monkeypox, Influenza, RSV, Pneumonia, and Norovirus.

As you will see on the website, what is reported to the facility is the amount of the infectious disease detected. Even though we provide wastewater treatment for three municipalities, all wastewater enters the facility in one pipe. Therefore, we cannot trace back to what neighborhood or municipality has the infectious disease but simply the presence of it in the tri-town area.

Click here to view the City’s data 

Vermont Phosphorus Innovation Challenge

The Vermont Phosphorus Innovation Challenge was announced in February 2018 as an X-Prize style competition to harness creative solutions to address phosphorus pollution in Vermont. VPIC complements ongoing, essential work to install conservation measures and best management practices to reduce phosphorus losses from farms and in stormwater runoff from developed lands. These new technologies aim to make existing protections even more effective.

The University of Vermont, the Village of Essex Junction, Chittenden County Solid Waste District, and Efficiency Vermont were selected as one of the six groups to receive initial funding. To follow their work and the updates from the VPIC, please visit the State of Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets webpage.

Vermont Phosphorus Innovation Challenge

Learn More About Wastewater Treatment in Essex Junction