Article courtesy of Kassie Petermann | February 20, 2016 | Sun Focus | Shared as educational material
The New Brighton City Council on Jan. 26 unanimously approved steps toward finding a permanent drinking water solution.
Last April, the city announced that a contaminant of emerging concern, 1,4-dioxane, was detected in trace amounts in some of the city’s wells. The likely source of the dioxane is the nearby site of the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant, which was identified as the source of other contaminants in New Brighton’s drinking water supply.
Upon the discovery, the city switched wells and is obtaining water from deeper wells that are free of 1,4-dioxane and other contaminants. The city will continue to use the Mt. Simon/Hinckley wells as its primary water supply until a new dioxane treatment facility is completed in 2018.
Last August, the City Council entered into a master professional services agreement and Work Order 1 with Barr Engineering. Under the scope of the first work order, Barr Engineering evaluated and screened the broad range of potential technologies that may be applicable for treatment of 1,4-dioxane. According to Craig Schlichting, director of community assets and development, that work included literature reviews, collection and evaluation of information from technology vendors, evaluation of operating facilities and bench scale testing.
The screening process identified two technologies that are currently undergoing treatability testing in a pilot scale setting at the city’s Water Treatment Plant number 1.
Greg Keil with Barr Engineering said how the technologies respond to elevated levels of dioxane is being studied. Concentrations will be artificially spiked to make sure the technologies can handle any condition that could occur.
The pilot testing is expected to be completed by early May. The testing will be used to compare technologies and help the city select which technology it wants to implement to remove 1,4-dioxane.
A report is expected to be presented to the council in June, which will summarize the results and provide a recommendation for the preferred technology.
The project described under Work Order 2 consists of integrating the selected technology into the city’s existing water treatment processes, along with all necessary site and treatment plant modifications.
The nature of the project, along with schedule constraints, regulations governing the procurement of goods and services and other considerations, makes it advantageous to deliver the constructed project in multiple contract packages, Schlichting wrote in his report. Each contract package consists of a portion of the project that can be procured and completed separately.
The costs of the professional services performed under Work Order 2 will be funded from Fund 206, which is the New Brighton Contaminated Groundwater Recovery System Army Water Fund.
Councilmember Mary Burg said the city’s water is an issue that is being addressed quickly and thoroughly. She added that the water is safe to drink, and the city is doing everything it can.
“There’s been no delay in going forward with trying to make sure everything is done in the most timely fashion,” Burg said.