The Minnesota Department of Health has told Otsego it cannot operate the city’s pump house in School Knoll Park until two chemicals stored there for water treatment have been separated.
No immediate danger exists to either city water or the public’s safety, but the Department of Health deems chloride and fluoride “incompatible.”
Water from city wells Nos. 1, 2 and 6 is treated at this pump house before going out for residential and commercial use.
The two chemicals in question have been stored in the same structure since it was built in 1999/2000, according to Otsego City Engineer Ron Wagner.
However, in a recent inspection last fall, the Department of Health noted the chemical storage and shut down the pump house in August or September.
“We had already taken care of the same chemical storage issue at our other pump house,” Wagner says, “and it really doesn’t affect this one at School Knoll Park, either, since we only use it in the summer as a backup when more water is being used.”
Otsego will comply with the Department of Health mandate to separate the chemicals by using one of three options.
•Option one is to attach a separate room to the existing pump house where one of the chemicals would be moved.
•Option two would be to build a 3-by-8-foot locker inches from the pump house where one of the chemicals would be stored.
•Option three is to bring in a pre-fabricated structure to set next to the pump house where one of the chemicals would be moved.
Wagner says city council members have yet to decide which option to pursue.
Estimated costs to meet the Minnesota Department of Health standards will be less than $30,000, Wagner adds.