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The water department reads water meters every month. The city is divided into three sections so that your water meter is read every third month.
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The water supplied to the city comes from deep and shallow wells located in Levee Park and the Westfield well field. The depths of these wells are from 142 feet to 502 feet in depth. The exception to this is the Wincrest area that has two wells that are 1,070 feet deep.
The water is chlorinated to kill any micro-organisms and bacteria that may be present. The Minnesota Department of Health requires us to sample at a minimum of 30 locations throughout the city at least once a month and send them to an independent lab for testing. If a positive sample shows up then there is a retest, if positive again a notice is sent to all residents telling them to boil the water till the problem is resolved.
Water is considered safe to drink if it came from a natural source (river, lake, spring, groundwater) and it meets or is better than all of the federal, state, and provincial standards that are legally enforceable. In the United States, if your tap water does not meet any one of the standards, according to the law, your water supplier must notify all its customers as of the problem. Water is called potable when it is safe to drink. "Potable" rhymes with "floatable".
The State mandates us to add fluoride to the water which we do at the Johnson Street Plant, Westfield Plant, and the Wincrest Wells.; We take a sample daily of the fluoride level and a monthly report is sent to the Minnesota Department of Health to show compliance with state laws.
The hardness of the water is 14 grains or 220 Parts per Million (PPM).
The water being pumped out of the Johnson Street and Westfield Plants is being filtered at this time. There are a few reasons that your water may be discolored. If there was a fire in your area often times this will make the water discolored because of a large demand for water going through the water mains. You may have a service leak which will discolor the water. We flush the water mains in the spring and fall, this will cause discolored water.
There are many reasons to have a water bill higher than normal. You may have a leaky toilet (the number one cause), out side faucet was left on, water softener not working properly, other water related appliances not working properly. Also if you do not have a newer style water meter that can be read from the outside of your home we may not have been able to get an actual reading. This will result in an estimated reading and we would not be able to determine if you have a leak in that three month period.
Please contact us if you need to have a newer style meter installed in your residence. This will guarantee that the water will be read every quarter. The Water Department will gladly come to your residence to help you in any way that we can.
We currently have about 90 to 95% of the meters changed to the new Electronic Encode Register (ECR) type meter. With ECR we are able to read these meters by touching the small box we attach to the outside of your home. If you don’t now have one of these types please call our office and we can set up an appointment to change your meter to a new one. This will mean that every quarter we can get an actual reading for your water usage and not have to estimate your usage on your water bill.
One cubic foot of water is equal to 7.48 gallons, one hundred cubic feet of water is equal to 748 gallons.
The pipe is the "stop box" for your water service. There is a valve under ground on your water line that is accessed with a special wrench through this pipe.
In an emergency situation (water flooding your basement) this is where your plumber or the water department would turn off the water to your home. If this pipe is bent, broken, or filled with dirt then the water may not be able to be shut off in time to prevent flooding of the basement. This "stop box" is the home owner’s responsibility to keep in good operating condition.
It appears that you may have a service leak. The piping to your home may have broken and the water is flowing out into the ground (the noise you hear). The low pressure is because not all the water is coming into your home but leaking out at the break.
This should be addressed immediately since the water leaking into the ground may start flowing into your basement or your neighbors’ basement resulting in property damage. If this is the case call the Water Department or the Law Enforcement Center after hours for help.
Your water meter is where the water service first enters your home. This meter is designed with a frost plate that will break when water in the meter freezes. This is to prevent further damage to the rest of the meter. We suggest that you eliminate all cold drafts in the area of the meter and other piping. In the case of services that are notorious for freezing we suggest to let a small stream of water flowing through the pipes during the colder part of winter.
We do give tours of the Water Plant to many school classes through out the year and would be happy to show you our operations here. Please get in touch with us and we will try to help.