Public Water Systems and COVID-19
Is tap water safe to drink? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 has not been detected in drinking water supplies and the current risk to drinking water is low. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that Americans continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual. For more information, visit the following websites:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Water Transmission and COVID-19
For more information customers are encouraged to visit the websites of MDH, CDC, and the World Health Organization (WHO).
· CDC: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The City of Andover's water supply system consists of 8 high production wells ranging in size and capacity. The amount of water pumped from these wells ranges from 850 gallons per minute (GPM) to 2500 GPM.
Of these 8 wells, 2 wells are only used as needed when the peak demand is greatest. The other 6 wells are used continuously throughout the summer months and rotated during the winter months.
The Water Treatment Facility is an iron and manganese removal facility, located at 1815 Crosstown Blvd. Andover, MN 55304
The water treatment process began in 2002 with the construction of the facility.This facility was designed to treat up to 9 million gallons of water per day. During the winter months when water usage is at levels to provide strictly in house use, the plant averages 1.3 million gallons per day. At peak demand in July the plant averages 6.4 million gallons per day with a daily high of 8.8 million gallons.
The actual process includes:
- Chemical additions through out the process
- The City of Andover's water supply has an average water hardness of 13 Grains.
The city currently has 2 water towers ranging in size of .5 million gallons for the west side of the city in Rose Park, 2 blocks east of Round Lake Boulevard, and a 1 million gallon tank next to City Hall at Hanson Boulevard and Crosstown Boulevard The water system is made up of 2 pressure zones. The .5 million gallon tank serves the lower zone with a maximum pressure of 55 pounds per square inch (psi). The higher system serves a majority of the city at pressures around 60-70 psi.
There are two valves between the 2 systems that open when the .5 million gallon tank is low on water. At this point the larger tower will feed the smaller tower until a pre-set level is reached and the valve will close.
Residents on the west side of the city may notice an increase in pressure throughout the day when the valve opens. At some point in the future, the smaller tower will be removed and the water system will become 1 with the same pressures as the east side of the city. This is all part of the capital improvement projects to take pl.ace over the next few years.
If the system is demanding more than the water plant can deliver, untreated wells need to run to make up the difference. These wells will introduce iron and manganese back into the system and the quality of water will be compromised for these areas.
A control process was incorporated called Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA). This provides control, security, monitoring of the treatment process and monitoring of the sanitary sewer system lift stations. This system is vital in the overall operations as it will call out any alarms to an on-call operator 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
City staff will eventually get to all 1200 fire hydrants but it takes time. City crews go out between snow falls and clear as many hydrants as possible but when the snow comes on a regular basis it is hard to get to everyone in a short amount of time. The City of Andover appreciates all the efforts residents have taken over the years to keep some of the hydrants clear.
During summer months water usage can be over 6 times that of winter usage. Andover follows the water conservation program by enforcing water restrictions from May 1 through August 31. The City of Andover has a yearly program in place to control the amount of water used during the summer lawn irrigation months of May through August. During the peak demand month of July the amount of water pumped is 6 times greater than the average month of January. So in order to make sure there is enough water for all residential and commercial needs, along with adequate fire protection should the need arise, this program is needed and required.
Rules for Lawn Irrigation
Odd & Even Number Houses
Follow the odd / even rule by address to calendar day. If your address ends in an odd number (ex. 1475) you can water on the odd numbered calendar days, 1st, 3rd, 5th, etc. If your house number ends in an even number (ex. 1474) you can water on the even calendar days, 2nd, 4th, 6th, etc.
There is to be no watering by any address between the hours of 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. This time frame will allow the water towers to refill and it is also the hottest time frame when a majority of the water evaporates. For more information view our Irrigation Restriction Ordinance (PDF).
About Our System
Residents on the City Water System will have a meter installed on the ¾ “- 1” water service line. Typically the meter is installed in the basement near the hot water heater. A wire is attached to the meter and runs to a touch pad mounted on the outside of the house that allows the meter to be read without entering the residence. Click for more information.
Water Main Flushing
The Utilities Department will be flushing water mains for approximately a 2-week period beginning April 17th and running through April 28th. Weather conditions may alter the time frame somewhat, but staff will do its best to complete during this time. The flushing will take place Monday through Friday during regular business hours of 6:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The water may be slightly colored as the process is taking place. It would be wise to check your water prior to doing any laundry as the colored water may cause some staining. The water is safe to use but you may want to store some water for cooking and drinking as it will have a different taste than what you are used to. Please call the Public Utilities Manager at 763-767-5180 with any questions or concerns.