New water director impressed with plant
The new director of the Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District has only been on the job three days but he likes what he sees.
Introduced at Monday's Alexandria City Council meeting, Scott Gilbertson said he's impressed with the district's wastewater treatment plant, its superintendents and its staff. He said they've made excellent decisions over the years that have led to cleaner lakes.
"I'd put the quality of our lakes as the best in the state of Minnesota," he told the council.
Gilbertson has nearly 30 years of experience in the wastewater industry. He began his career with the Alexandria sewer system as an intern in 1989, became a wastewater operator in Cambridge and was a wastewater supervisor in Melrose before serving as a water/wastewater supervisor at Detroit Lakes Utilities.
He replaced longtime ALASD executive director Bruce Nelson, who retired at the end of August.
Gilbertson said the sewer district's collection system here is vast with "just a few bumps," which he said can happen with lift stations from time to time.
He described the district's rates for residential and commercial customers as "very fair."
Gilbertson said he is focusing on an adaptive lake management plan to restore the water quality on lakes Agnes, Henry and Winona. He plans to travel to St. Paul later this week to finalize the process of getting a $600,000 grant from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources to control the phosphorous that's getting into Lake Agnes.
The plan also calls for the removal of invasive carp in Lake Winona. He said dealing with that issue will require a "large team effort" but is an exciting scientific process.