Each of our facilities use water for cooling and processing purposes. We use water-recycling systems that return water for reuse in operations, greatly reducing the amount of water being brought into plants. We continue to implement conservation practices to help limit our water consumption and reduce our footprint on local ecosystems and communities.

U. S. Steel's Big River Steel Works made significant investments in its water system to increase recycling of water and reduce the amount of water used per ton of steel produced. The concentrations of metals in the water discharged from the facility were lowered. In addition, improvements to Big River Steel Works' wastewater treatment plant reduced the amount of wastewater filter cake sent to landfills.

U. S. Steel is committed to responsible water use and is continuously working to improve operations that are a part of our water systems at all our facilities.

To see our water-related highlights, goals and progress, click here

Photo: Gary Harbor Breakwater Lighthouse is located in Gary Harbor, Lake Michigan.


Water (megaliters)202120222023
Total withdrawal1,174,7351,205,3511,162,679
Total recycled874,136877,057876,053
Total discharged1,009,241997,5491,011,389
Total consumption165,494207,802151,290


Improving Water in Minntac’s Tailings Basin

We invested $8 million in a water quality project at our Minntac taconite plant in Minnesota, aimed at helping to reduce sulfates in the plant’s tailings basin. The project eliminated a source of make-up water to the plant system that contained sulfate and replaced it with recycled water from the tailings basin itself. The project has led to an 18,000-pound-per-day reduction in the amount of sulfates that flow into the tailings basin and is expected to result in long-term sulfate improvement in the basin water.