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St. Paul Park urges water conservation in light of new well test

The city of St. Paul Park will be shutting off the second of three municipal wells and imposing watering restrictions in light of new test results showing perfluorochemicals above Minnesota Department of Health recommendations.

When the Minnesota Department of Health lowered its health-based values for recommended perfluorochemical levels last May, only one of St. Paul Park's three municipal wells was above the new recommendation. Since then a second well has tested above it for a year.

The MDH tests wells that are nearing the health index, which is measured by the proportions of different PFC chemicals including PFOA and PFOS. If the value is above 1.0, MDH recommends treating the water or discontinuing use of the well.

With a second well offline, city officials are asking residents to conserve water and observe the odd/even watering restriction and only watering between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m.

"Wash your cars, water your gardens and your flowers, but we encourage water conservation to the best of your ability," Public Works Supervisor Jeff Dionisopoulos said.

In case of an emergency, such as a fire that would need higher water capacity to extinguish, the city can tap back into the well.

Now that the structure of the workgroups regarding the $850 million 3M settlement have been finalized, Dionisopoulos said they will discuss long-term treatment options.

Until that time, he said they are working with the state to implement a granular-activated carbon (GAC) filtration system much like the one installed in Cottage Grove last summer.

Though there was a small increase in the last two tests, PFC levels in the city's third well still read below 1.0.

There will be an open house regarding the wells June 13, including a presentation and question and answer period. Representatives from the city, Minnesota Department of Health, Pollution Control Agency, Department of Natural Resources will be at the meeting.

If you go:

What: Open house regarding watering restrictions, including a presentation and question and answer.

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. June 13

Where: City Hall, 600 Portland Ave.