Conceptual Drinking Water Supply Plan

The Conceptual Drinking Water Supply Plan is a key component to ensure drinking water needs and options for the East Metropolitan Area are appropriately and thoroughly considered. The plan will take into account both public water systems and private wells, using a region-wide approach.

Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions Inc. (Wood) has been retained to help develop the plan.  Wood has engineering expertise in water system planning, cost estimating, modeling, and treatment. They also have experience in PFAS fate and transport and treatment strategies. The Drinking Water Supply Technical Subgroup is providing technical input and feedback on potential projects and technologies for evaluation.

Developing the plan

Step one (completed)

Develop background and community profiles (people, growth, drinking water needs for today and tomorrow, existing resources, contamination)

Step two (completed)

Identify water supply improvement options for individual communities (high-level)

Step three (completed)

Identify potential long-term options (more detailed, technically feasible)

There are a number ways to provide clean drinking water, the following list of potential long-term options are being further evaluated:

Community-level options

  • Whole-house treatment - Treat all well water at the point where it enters the home
  • Create neighborhood water supply - Shared groundwater well for neighborhood
  • Connect private wells to existing municipal water supply system
  • Treat existing municipal water supply
  • Drill new municipal well(s) in optimal location(s); treat, if needed

Regional-level options

  • Connect to neighboring community's municipal system
  • Centralized regional groundwater treatment plant – multiple communities
  • Regional surface water treatment plant

Additional ideas submitted by community members

  • Water testing and treatment endowment to fund ongoing testing and maintenance
  • Reverse osmosis or granular activated carbon filtration for all areas affected by PFAS
  • Manage aquifer storage and recovery or establish a county Aquifer Augmentation District
  • Treatment for non-community public water systems. These are places that are served by their own water supply such as parks, gas stations, office buildings, schools, etc.
  • Sustainable water usage requirements for new developments

See the Excel spreadsheet for more information about long-term projects for each community. The list of potential long-term projects was compiled with input from cities, townships, Washington County, watershed districts, business owners, citizens, and the 3M Settlement Working Groups.

Step four (in process)

Evaluate  long-term  options, also called scenarios.

The MPCA, DNR, Citizen–Business Group and Government and 3M Working Group have created a set of criteria that will be used to screen and evaluate proposed drinking water supply projects.

Step five

Recommend good/better/best options for East Metropolitan Area