A floating idea gains traction
March 1, 2024: How do Clearwater Biologic's sulfate-reducing bioreactors actually work? In the Mesabi Tribune, reporter Lee Bloomquist explains the process in simple terms (Feb. 28, 2024). His interview with Jeff Hanson and Bill Newman also shows the broader potential of the pr...
Sulfate cleanup takes a leap in efficiency and affordability
Jan. 26, 2024:  Citizens and scientists in northern Minnesota learned about a recent breakthrough in the Clearwater Biologic sulfate cleanup system, which has strong potential to heal the mining-impacted waters of that region.  Jeffrey Hanson's Jan. 16 presentation to the Bound...
A solution for sulfate and zebra mussels
  Dec. 21, 2023: After a century of iron and taconite mining in northern Minnesota, the landscape is dotted with former mine pits that have become lakes, some serving as municipal water supply for nearby towns. In addition to the high levels of sulfate and other pollutant...

For decades, rising sulfate levels in the nation’s waters have been a problem without an affordable solution. Due largely to industrial outputs and atmospheric trends, sulfate pollution has drawn increasing concern from environmental regulators and often stymied industrial cleanup efforts.

But a solution is now at hand: Clearwater BioLogic has developed an efficient, cost-effective sulfate remediation system that offers the first true alternative to reverse osmosis systems. For industries such as mining that have found RO too expensive, Clearwater BioLogic offers a breakthrough tool that reduces sulfate to targeted levels, complying with water quality regulations and bringing win-win solutions to multiple stakeholders. This three-step process can achieve any such target—even if the goal is zero– by reducing the sulfate biologically, converting it to sulfur, and removing it.

This graph shows actual test results on water from the Saint James Mine Pit Lake. It covers October 2023 to March 2024. The influent Sulfate concentration is about 340 mg/L. The final Sulfate levels are consistently below 3 mg/L.






The process has been developed and tested in a demanding setting: northern Minnesota, where taconite mines have contributed to high sulfate levels, and where nearby native wild rice beds are highly sulfate-sensitive. With these challenges on both sides of the equation, the sulfate solution developed here is one that can be applied confidently in any setting.

This brief video frames the issue in northern Minnesota.


Can science settle the dispute over wild rice? Babbitt native says yes, by imitating nature

MPR NEWS - by Elizabeth Dunbar - St. Paul - May 15, 2018