WOODBURY— The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has issued a health advisory for levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in a tenth Woodbury municipal water production well.
As part of the city’s ongoing management of the water system, the well will remain available for service to meet short duration peak water demand in the summer months. However, operationally it will be placed low in use order, eliminating its use on most summer days and limiting its use on those days of peak demand, according to Woodbury City Officials. It is one of three wells that will receive on-site interim well treatment for PFAS by 2024 and used until the permanent water treatment plant is operational.
Of Woodbury’s 20 municipal wells, water from 10 wells—based on the most current data provided by the city—now have detectable levels of PFAS that on repeatable occasion exceed one or more thresholds established by the MDH. Of the 10 wells with MDH health advisories, six have been returned to service through the temporary treatment plant; one is in process of permanently being abandoned; two are temporarily removed from operation; and one remains available to meet short duration peak water demand.
Woodbury officials stated that they will continue working with MDH to monitor, assess, and sample its water for PFAS. The public will be informed if/when new changes are detected.
“Residents and businesses can help by using water efficiently, particularly with lawn watering, and by following the updated lawn and landscape irrigation policy,” said Assistant Public Works Director Jim Westerman. “This will assist in limiting the number of wells needed to meet system demand.”
Woodbury can expect a long-term PFAS treatment solution with the completion of the permanent Water Treatment Plant, which is slated to start construction next year and become fully functional in approximately five years. In the meantime, the current temporary water treatment plant, addition of two new wells and interim treatment at three additional well sites referenced above, in combination with optimized operation of remaining wells, is intended to bridge the gap between now and when the long-term water treatment plant is online.
“We are responding quickly so that we can maintain treatment and pumping capacity and meet water demand,” Westerman added. “We appreciate the understanding, patience and support of our residents and businesses as we continue to deliver the highest quality water possible to the community.”