City to launch water treatment pilot program

WD News: Changes may be on the horizon for Chanhassen’s East Water Treatment Plant, the older of the city’s two water treatment facilities.

Earlier this month, the Chanhassen City Council approved a contract with consulting firm WSB and Associates, Inc. to conduct a pilot study for biological treatment at the East Water Treatment Plant.

Besides high levels of minerals, Chanhassen’s water wells are generally free of contaminants that could pose a threat to resident health, according to city documents. Currently, water is treated chemically and includes filtration and the introduction of chlorine and fluoride.

Chemicals have long been trusted to treat drinking water, but biological treatment — treatment with the use of certain bacteria, that is — has proven to have its own advantages.

The pilot study would look at any changes and associated costs needed in order to transition the plant to a biological treatment model, as well as evaluate the method’s efficiency with regard to the specific chemistry of the city’s water supply.

According to city documents, the switch from chemical to biological treatment could save the city approximately $150,000 annually.

Hutchinson was the first Minnesota city to utilize a biological filtration system, doing so in 2007, according to the MDH. The city, like Chanhassen, was looking for a way to treat the iron and manganese in its waters.

Earlier this year, the central Minnesota town of Cold Spring became the first in the state to utilize the process for nitrate removal. More and more treatment plants are moving away from the tried and true chemical processes in exchange for more cost-efficient biological ones.

If the city moves forward with the pilot study, it will likely begin next spring and will take approximately four months to complete.


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