We’re getting a Hague water filter from Kes Equipment and Sales installed in our home on Monday (a not-so-indirect result of my wife Robbie’s winning a case of bottled water donated by Gary and Pauline Kes at last fall’s Chamber of Commerce Pub Crawl). Left: Rob Schanilec won a case, too.
When Gary Kes did the in-home water analysis, it got me thinking about Northfield’s muncipal water supply. Then I noticed this sentence in the Feb. 4-8 Friday memo by City Administrator Al Roder: “The primary chemical at issue for the Water Division is chlorine gas, which is present at each well site.” Here’s the entire segment:
Water Division staff sampled and submitted the monthly bacteriological testing for the month. The EPA has designated total coliform bacteria as the standard to determine bacterial safety of water. Although coliform bacteria are not normally found in our water, proper levels of chlorine added to the water work to eliminate most levels of bacteria. Water samples are taken from 21 representative locations throughout the City of Northfield. Generally, these are locations with a higher amount of people present – schools, industry, and businesses. The samples are submitted to a private certified lab for testing. The results are then returned to the Water Division and the Minnesota Department of Health. This procedure is done on a monthly basis and an additional sample is taken on a quarterly time frame, providing safe potable drinking water for the community.
Water Division staff completed the submission of the Tier II report. This report is submitted annually to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. The purpose of the data on this report is to provide state and local officials with specific information on hazardous chemicals present in each site and is also used for emergency preparedness planning. The primary chemical at issue for the Water Division is chlorine gas, which is present at each well site.
On the water section of the city’s web site, it says that the “Water Division produces an annual report titled Consumer Confidence Report, that includes detailed information about the City’s water quality.” That’s the 2006 report. I don’t know when the 2007 report will be made available.
There’s also a Wellhead Protection Committee that has met as recently as October, 2007 but I can’t find any minutes for any of their meetings, nor any information about who’s on the committee other than Rice County Commissioner Galen Malecha.
There’s a lot to learn about water for drinking, e.g. this web site, Everything You Wanted To Know About Drinking Water, But Didn’t Know Who To Ask. While few would dispute the need for adding chlorine to our water, there are many concerns about the health effects of chlorine in drinking water.
So if you have opinions about our water supply, let’s hear ’em.