The Village of Marathon City operates water and sewer utilities as business enterprises, separate from other tax supported functions of the village government. User fees for the services provided by these utilities pay for the operation, maintenance, repair and capital improvements of the utilities. The water and sewer utilities are governed by the Marathon City Utility Commission, consisting of the village president and four other commissioners who are appointed by the village board.
The source of the village’s water is three wells on the north side of the Rib River. Raw water from these wells is pumped to the village’s water treatment plant at Third and Hemlock streets. Certain mineral elements are filtered out and the water is treated for biological contaminants. The treated water is then pumped up the hill to the water tower and reservoir. A network of water mains distributes the treated water to village residents and businesses. The water utility sells about 50 million gallons of water per year to more than 600 customers.
Waste water from these customers is transported through a network of sewer mains and lift stations to the village’s waste water treatment plant at North and Chestnut streets. The plant is a conventional activated sludge treatment facility with biological phosphorus removal, chemical polishing and ultraviolet disinfection. Sludge is treated with anaerobic digestion and stored in a tank for seasonal land application. Treated water is released to the Rib River with an average daily flow of just under 250,000 gallons.
Both the water and sewer utilities are regulated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The finances and user fee rates of the water utility are also regulated by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.