Update on Brainerd's Drinking Water - 9/10/14
September 9, 9:00 pm: After a second round of testing, Brainerd Public Utilities and Minnesota Department of Health have determined the Brainerd drinking water system is once again safe. The current boil order has been lifted!
Update on Brainerd's Drinking Water - 9/09/14
There has been some misinformation floating around about Brainerd’s drinking water situation following the storm on Thursday, and we’d like to offer some clarification. Bacteria was found Friday in one of the 12 tests conducted on Brainerd's drinking water system, prompting a water boil order until further notice, as well as a system-wide chlorination which took place on September 6th. The type of bacteria found is called total coliform, a family of bacteria that indicates contamination. E. coli bacteria was not found in these tests.
The tests were conducted after a drop in water pressure that resulted from a broken water line near Kiwanis Park. This line break prevented the water tower at the site of the former Brainerd State Hospital from filling overnight. That water tower, which holds 750,000 gallons, is being used because the city's main water tower, located near downtown and which holds 1 million gallons, is out of commission while it's being worked on.
All Brainerd residents should continue to boil their water before drinking or using it for any cooking or food prep. There were 40 water tests taken on September 8th throughout the system. If all of these tests come back negative, the boil order will be lifted. The results will be known around 8:00pm on September 9th. Half of the tests will be conducted by BPU, the other half by the Minnesota Department of Health.
It was decided at a special BPU Commission meeting on Monday, September 8th that Brainerd water will be chlorinated for a month, and possibly longer, depending on when water tower repairs are completed. Permanent chlorination of the Brainerd system will begin to be discussed at the September BPU Commission Meeting. Brainerd has the largest un-chlorinated water system in the state.
For more information please visit www.bpu.org or feel free to give us a call at 218-829-7974.
Arsenic a Concern in Brainerd Lakes Area Well Water
If you’ve been watching the local news over the past few months you have probably heard something about the risk of arsenic in your well water. Our lab has been compiling the arsenic levels for wells in the Brainerd Lakes Area from samples that we’ve received over the past few months. We’ve recently been working with the Pelican Lakes Association and the Pelican Lake Conservation Club to compile well sampling information around Pelican Lake. We’ve seen some interesting trends with arsenic popping up in high concentrations in several areas including Brainerd, Baxter, Nisswa, Breezy Point, and Merrifield. Take a look at our most recent map of the area to see what we’ve found.
Arsenic is a naturally occurring element in groundwater and can be found just about anywhere in Minnesota. It can occur in pockets where several wells have elevated levels, or can be more sporadic with high levels found next door to very low levels. Long term consumption of arsenic in drinking water can cause serious health problems including an increased risk of certain types of cancer. Arsenic has no taste or odor and can vary greatly from one well to the next, so it’s important to have your well tested. The Minnesota Department of Health estimates that around 10% of Minnesota wells contain arsenic concentrations above the health limit of 10 ppb.
We are offering arsenic testing at a discounted rate of $20.00 (regular price is $26.00) for anyone in the Brainerd Lakes Area who would like to be a part of our study. Sampling kits can be picked up at our office, or please call us at 218-829-7974 to have a kit mailed.
Click here for more information about arsenic in drinking water or call our office at 218-829-7974.