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Park Rapids moves ahead with water treatment plan

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news Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

The Park Rapids City Council voted to move forward with a design for a water treatment facility to help keep the city's water safe to drink.

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A test well and water pumping test netted positive results this fall. City engineers presented results from the study Tuesday evening.

Currently, the city uses well water primarily from shallow wells 5 and 6 but includes water from deep well 8 during periods of high demand.

Water from the shallow aquifer has been seeing increasing levels of nitrates, which is a health concern. The city's deepest aquifer has increasing levels of iron, which, while not a health concern, creates staining and taste concerns.

Brian Hiles, with Ulteig Engineers, said that the water pumping test was successful and engineers are ready to continue with construction design for a facility.

Dave Hume presented hydrogeologic results. Water was pumped from an aquifer about 160 feet deep. It was located near the northwest water tower.

The purpose of the testing was to better characterize the quantity and quality of this aquifer, which is currently being investigated as a possible supplemental water source for the city and to meet the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources water appropriation permit requirements.

As part of the test, some private domestic and irrigation wells in the area of the well field were also tested.

The well was pumped at 1,200 gallons per minute for 15 days in October. Then, the well was monitored for eight days to see the recovery.

"The pumping rate indicates that it is refilling at a good rate," Hume said.

Also, other wells in the area were not impacted by the pumping test.

Chemistry results also showed good water that will be usable after being run through a water treatment facility.

An updated cost estimate shows the current cost is $2.45 million.

There is good news on funding for the project.

Park Rapids is rated number 1 on the list for a Public Facility Loan application through the state. Also, a Small Cities Development loan has been applied for and the city should have a good chance of receiving a loan.

City officials have toured other water treatment facilities in the area.

The design plans should be ready for approval by February or March, Hiles said. Construction could proceed in the summer of 2013.

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