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Residents interested in water filters at meeting

Homeowners in St. Paul Park, Newport and Grey Cloud Island are looking for ways to filter their drinking and cooking water themselves.

Last night at St. Paul Park City Hall representatives from the Minnesota Department of Health presented the findings of a yearlong sampling and testing program that took place in the three municipalities.

Residents were told their drinking water is safe to drink and use for cooking, but Jim Auge, who lives on 85th Street in Cottage Grove, is taking no chances: His water and sewer service is provided by St. Paul Park.

Auge has been using bottled water since the discovery of perfluorochemicals in city water and area wells last year. "And it's getting expensive," he said. He's ready to buy his own filter system. "When the ground is contaminated, it's contaminated, period," he said.

At the Wednesday meeting, MDH well expert Mike Convery displayed and explained five in-home point-of-use treatment devices. In 2007, the state Legislature directed the MDH to study point-of-use devices that could eliminate PFCs from drinking water.

Working with Water Science & Marketing LLC and the Water Quality Association, Convery said his department asked companies that make POU water treatment devices to suggest which of their devices might be effective in removing PFCs.

"We began with 500 devices and selected 14 that we thought would be most effective," Convery said. "One activated carbon and four reverse osmosis devices were found to be most effective in laboratory tests."

Those five, and a sixth device being considered, include:


EcoWater ERO-375-CP;

Kinetico Plus Deluxe VX;

Pintair RO 3500-EX w/GS;

Culligan RC-EZ-4 (a carbon device); and

Culligan Aqua Cleer.

"Several of these devices can be purchased in retail stores, others must be obtained from the dealer," Convery said. Prices range from $200 to $1,200, depending on the device chosen and the amount of plumbing that may need to be done in any single home, he said.

Convery said the six devices are undergoing field tests now -- some in homes and several at St. Paul Park's No. 3 well. Findings and conclusions of testing are expected to be available in early May.

Auge said he would wait for the final report before purchasing a filter system.