Weather Forecast


Park Rapids drills test well east of the river in search of clean water

Josh Elsner watches water spew from a test well on Hollinger Street Thursday afternoon. "They're trying to get away from all the nitrates on the west side of town," he said referring to seeping from fertilized farm fields. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)1 / 2
Elsner Well Drilling tests a spot east of the Fish Hook River for a nitrate-free source of water. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)2 / 2

In search of a new source of water, the city of Park Rapids has commissioned Elsner Well Drilling to dig a test well east of the Fish Hook River, said public works superintendent Scott Burlingame. Last year a well was capped due to higher than recommended nitrate levels in the water. Some of the current wells are edging close to having high concentrates of nitrate, but the city had Elsner dig a deep water well last year and that water can be blended with water from the shallower wells, Burlingame said. "But we just need another source of clean water," he said. "Our wells just can't produce enough." The test well is about 45 feet deep, Elsner said. Water from it will be tested for the presence of iron and nitrates. If the water tests turn out safe, the company will drill a production well at the site. All of the city's current wells are west and south of the city.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

(218) 732-3364