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City of Auburn / Departments / Municipal Utilities / Water Pollution Control

Water Pollution Control

Another important part of our city services is the management of the Class III Municipal Wastewater Treatment Facility, which is integral to protecting the health and well being of the community and downstream users.

The facility consists of two treatment plants that provide preliminary, primary, secondary and disinfection—at two sites. The overall design flow rate is 4.5 MGD with a peak design flow rate of 9.0 MGD.

Plant No. 1

(located on the west side of Cedar Creek) has a design flow rate of 2.5 MGD and a peak design flow rate of 4.0 MGD.

Plant No. 2

(located on the east side of Cedar Creek) has a design flow rate of 2.0 MGD and a peak design flow rate of 5.0 MDG. Tertiary treatment of the combined secondary wastewater effluent and sludge stabilization is provided for the combined sludge at the Plant #2 site.

Important environmental operations occur at these plant facilities. To better understand the types of treatment conducted at these plants, as well as how the Water Pollution Control Laboratory monitors plant discharges and performs process control testing, download these helpful community resources:

Plant Operations PDF
Water Pollution Control Laboratory PDF

Additional Information

N-Viro Soil

The Bio-Solids Division of Water Pollution Control houses perhaps the fastest growing program of the department: N-Viro Soil™. This innovative technology recycles and reuses the sludge by-product generated at the treatment facility.

The addition of the N-Viro Soil™ process has allowed us to discontinue a costly and time-consuming land application program and recycle wastewater sludge and other waste streams rich in organic matter into a safe, valuable product that can be beneficially reused. Most often used as fill dirt for city development and redevelopment projects, this recycled organic matter is an ecologically sound alternative to regular soil. Not only does it respond better to the environment because it contains fertilizer and absorbs water and other nutrients more fully, but it also saves taxpayer dollars because it requires less to help support plant growth.

Sewer Maintenance

This program has been effective in reducing pollutant discharge from combined sewer overflows and increasing the overall efficiency of the collection system. Specifically, the program oversees the:

  • Inspection of new construction for conformance with the sewer ordinances and for the integrity of new sewers
  • Inspection of existing sewers and manholes for structural conditions
  • Cleaning of settled solids from certain sewer lines to maintain flow, increase sewer capacity and remove blockage
  • Reconstruction of manholes and sewers requiring repairs
  • Inspection of commercial and industrial users for compliance with discharge regulations

After a heavy rain or snow, water either soaks into the ground or it flows over land and ends up in rivers and lakes such as Cedar Creek. When the latter occurs – called storm water runoff – it can take with it a lot of pollutants. While this is very natural process in urban areas, it causes very unnatural effects that negatively impact the quality of life we've come to value in Auburn. Specifically, storm water runoff:

  • Affects water quality and purity
  • Increases potential for flooding
  • Increase bacteria levels in recreational waters
  • Increases sedimentation and erosion
  • Decreases aquatic life
  • Changes—and even destroys—animal habitats

To preserve our water table and water quality, the city's Storm Water Quality Management Program has several measures in place to ensure proper storm water management that ultimately protects public health, improves water quality, conserves resources and manages risk. Efforts include the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4), a system of pipes and ditches for conveying storm water, as well as programs to address storm water control measures required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Water Act and Indiana's Rule 13.

What You Can Do

Effective storm water management requires active community involvement if it is to be successful over the long term. This support will help maintain our environment and minimize the amount of taxpayer money needed for processing and cleanup of water.

There are a number of ways both residents and businesses can easily support our storm water control efforts:

  • Never dump anything down storm drains or in streams.
  • Use the least toxic pesticides, follow label instructions, and learn how to prevent pest problems.
  • Use fertilizers sparingly and sweep up driveways and sidewalks.
  • Disconnect downspouts. 
  • Compost yard waste.
  • Use rain barrels to water plants during dry periods.
  • Have your septic tank pumped and system inspected regularly.
  • Vegetate bare spots in your yard.
  • Take your car to the car wash or wash it on the grass instead of washing it in the driveway.
  • Pick up after your pet.
Storm Water Ordinances

There are three city ordinances that specifically address storm water control. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these to ensure you are acting within the municipal laws of Auburn.

You can help keeping our environment and local waterways clean and safe by assisting the Auburn Department of Water Pollution Control with simple clean-up and preventive maintenance techniques:

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  • Keep debris, snow, ice and leaves off the top of catch basins in the street. Items like trash and leaves left on top of catch basins contribute to overland and street flooding during wet weather events. If you notice a catch basin that is clogged or full, call 260.925.1714 to report it.
  • After a heavy snowfall, assist the Auburn Fire Department by uncovering fire hydrants that may become buried in snow.
  • Do not dump motor oil, antifreeze, gasoline, trash, paint, etc. down catch basins. Many catch basins across Auburn lead directly into Cedar Creek.
  • Remember it is illegal to connect household down spouts and sump pump drains to a city sanitary/combination sewer. If you have information regarding someone dumping substances into a city sewer, call 260.925.1714.

If you feel the substance could cause harm to human life or has the potential to be hazardous, contact the Auburn Police Department at 260.925.1500.


Mayor's Corner

June 19, 2019
Part of our quarterly Storm Water Series by Todd Sattison, WPC Superintendent Keeping Indiana waterways clean demands more than creekside diligence. Even if you don’t live on Cedar Creek, you may be contributing to the pollution of creeks, lakes and…
September 22, 2017
By Norman Yoder, Mayor of Auburn There’s been a lot of discussion about the Auburn Community Pool especially after it was announced that this past summer was its last one of operation. Many want the city to keep the pool open. I understand those sen…


January 31, 2019
Auburn Essential Services (AES) is joining Auburn Main Street (AMS) in helping the community form connections and make memories during “We Love Auburn” month. This year, AES is sponsoring a synthetic ice rink that will be available Feb. 9-10 f…


  • July 15, 2019
    Looking for something for your kiddos this week? How about the Park Department's Crazy Kaleidscope class on Tuesday…
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