Woodbury's Water Source
The City of Woodbury's goal is to provide high quality, safe, reliable drinking water that surpasses every state and federal requirement.
Woodbury is fortunate to have a very clean and safe water source: the Jordan aquifer. An aquifer is an underground lake embedded in rock, in this case a sandstone rock layer. Our wells are about 500 feet deep and we blast a cavity, like a large cave, in the rock at the bottom of the well. We then draw our drinking water from the water that seeps, through the rock, to this cavity. The Jordan water has spent many decades flowing through the rock layers to reach our wells. During that long period, organisms that might have caused diseases have died and been filtered out by the rock layers.
During this flow through the rock, the water dissolves some of the minerals embedded there. The only major impact we see in our water is from the limestone, where we pick up calcium. The calcium from the limestone is the major contributor to the hardness in Woodbury's water. Hardness is the measure of dissolved minerals that are in the water. The hardness of the water in Woodbury is approximately 13.5 grains. This is considered medium hard.
Though we have very good source water, we do take additional steps to comply with the Minnesota Department of Health rules. We add Fluoride to the water to allow bodies to build stronger bones and teeth. We also add Chlorine to the water. Chlorine is a very strong disinfectant and assures that no harmful bacteria or organisms can grow in the system. It also protects the water if any contaminants were to find their way in to our water. We have very precise equipment to add these items and we also test the water daily to assure we have the right amounts of Chlorine and Fluoride throughout the water system. The state requires cities to have 1.2 milligrams of Fluoride per liter of water and have a detectable Chlorine residual at the farthest points in the system.
The city pumped about 2.8 billion gallons of water in 2009. Woodbury currently has 17 wells in operation. In the winter, wells produce about 4.2 million gallons of water per day. In the summer, all 17 wells are needed to pump up to 22 million gallons per day. The city's water system requires more than 5,101 valves and 279 miles of underground piping (at least 7 feet deep) to distribute the water to houses and the 2,700 plus fire hydrants for city emergencies. The water utility is not funded through taxes. Operating costs are covered by billing for measured water use.
The City of Woodbury’s Wellhead Protection Plan is designed to protect the groundwater aquifers that supply the Woodbury municipal drinking water wells. The plan identifies potential sources of contamination that could pollute local groundwater wells and enter the community’s water supply. The ultimate goal of this plan is help ensure that Woodbury continues to provide its residents with a safe and abundant supply of clean drinking water for generations to come.Wells can become polluted when substances that are harmful to human health get into the groundwater. Water from these wells can become dangerous to drink when the level of pollution rises above health standards. Fortunately, the City of Woodbury’s water supply currently meets (and exceeds) all state and federal drinking water standards. The city regularly samples the water from its wells and provides an annual Water Quality Report to residents.The Wellhead Protection Plan can be successful only if residents help protect the aquifer. To assist the city implement its plan, you can do the following:
- Help identify land uses and potential sources of contamination on your property (wells, tanks, septic systems, hazardous wastes, etc.).
- Make sure any potential sources of contamination under your control meet local, state, and federal regulations. Click on the following for information on Septic Systems and the Abandoned Well Sealing Cost Share Programs.
- Use hazardous products only as directed and dispose of them properly when no longer needed. Visit the Washington County website for information on handling and disposal of wastes, including information on waste collection at the Environmental Center.
- Practice proper turf management techniques and avoid over-fertilization of your lawns and gardens. Visit the Minnesota Department of Agricultural website for more information.
- Seal any unused wells on your property, according to Minnesota Well Code. See the Minnesota Department of Health website for more information. Owners of active wells should refer to the Well Owner’s Handbook for proper construction, maintenance, and sampling information.
- Conserve water whenever possible. Lawn watering is one of the largest uses of municipal water during the summer months. Tips for conserving water, while maintaining a healthy lawn, are included on the Watering Tips page.
- Report spills (or illegal dumping) of hazardous wastes, fuels, or chemicals to law enforcement.
If you wish to view a copy of the Wellhead Protection Plan, contact Public Works at (651) 714-3720.
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