Minnesota Report

We have the opportunity to tour the 1900 Rice Street location to the St Paul Regionally Water Services and learned that the process from providing water without, color, taste, or smell is a very involved process, but also fairly rudimentary.

They draw water from Vadnais Lake, a body of water with a banned of boating or fishing, and which is fed from a pipeline from the Mississippi River. They then collect the water in 20 foot tanks called flocculators and add alum and quick lime to soften the water and form solids which are later removed and the resulting residuals are sold as agriculture applications.

The water is then recarbonized with CO2 and filtered with carbon, fluoridated, and disinfected with a combination of chloride and ammonium forming chloramine. The resulting water is pumped out daily through 1,200 miles of water mains to 450,000 people delivering 40 million gallons daily.

Currently, the site is in the midst of a large construction project, which will increase its capacity, but it is worth noting, the existing facility is over 100 years old, opening in 1914, and has been fully operational to the point of receiving a Presidential Award.

We may take for granted the water quality we receive anytime we turn of the facet, but also, we can fully understand the fact that this type of infrastructure is a significant factor in the quality-of-life issues we have here in our state and take for granted. This is a state, and regional asset worth preserving. As was noted during the presentations, our fore fathers had the wherewithal and foresight to plan for this, and paid for an enduring public asset which has survived the test of time, but still need improvement and ongoing maintenance.