The decision to further soften or not is up to residents; however, the City is recommending residents do not further soften their water.
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The city's water is above a Minnesota Department of Health guideline for manganese and is not recommended to be consumed by infants under 1 year old. The way to lower the level of manganese in the water is by providing treatment.
The new water treatment plant will use gravity filtration with reverse osmosis to remove iron, manganese and hardness minerals or calcium and magnesium.
Yes, the city's consultant studied 3 treatment options:
Gravity filtration with reverse osmosis was selected because of the removal of manganese in the drinking water, the resiliency to future contaminants, the quality of water provided and the reduction of chlorides being added to drinking water through home water softeners thus resulting in lower levels of chlorides being discharged to the Cannon River.
Yes, however they were not recommended as options based on the scale of the drinking water system.
Yes, the water will be softened to roughly 90 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or what is considered moderately hard.
No, the Minnesota Department of Health states that “If your water’s hardness is greater than 7 grains per gallon or 120mg/L, then you might need a water softener to ensure your appliances run well.” The City will provide water with roughly 90 mg/L or lower than the Minnesota Department of Health’s recommended softening level.
The water treatment plant is expected to be operational in 2026.
When the water treatment plant first becomes operational, there will be a change in the water. City staff will conduct additional hydrant flushing to remove any built up discoloration in the water so that residents will be able to see the benefit of the new treated water as soon as possible.