The Public Works Department is stationed in the Public Safety Building on Fair Avenue, and Provides the following city services:
The Water Utility System has 1,370 municipal connections served by 2 Water Towers. Both hold about 500,000 gallons each. The are fed by five wells that have the capacity to pump 1,500 gallons per minute or 2,160,000 gallons per day. There is an average demand of 500,000 gallons of water a day while peak demands reach 650,000 gallons per day. The total tap water hardness is 203 milligrams per liter.
The sewer system has approximately 1270 municipal connections served by a 430,000 gallons per day stabilization pond system along with sixteen lift stations. The average demand is 350,000 gallons per day while peak demand reaches 375,000 gallons per day.
City of Park Rapids Wellhead Protection Plan
The City of Park Rapids recently developed a wellhead protection plan in order to protect the groundwater which supplies the needs of our community. The goal of this plan is to: Maintain a drinking water quality that continues to meet the safe drinking water requirements for protecting the public's health, safety, general welfare; and the economic welfare of the community. It is important that each one of us recognize that we can have a direct influence on the quality of the groundwater which Park Rapids uses.
WHAT IS WELLHEAD PROTECTION?
Wellhead protection is, simply stated, protecting the land area surrounding a well in order to prevent contamination of the groundwater that is likely to be drawn into the well during pumping.
Wellhead protection plans are encouraged by agencies such as the Minnesota Department of Health, Department of Natural Resources, Pollution Control Agency and Hubbard County Water Planning.
These agencies are responsible for setting safe drinking water standards and for protecting natural resources, such as groundwater.
WHAT IS GROUNDWATER?
Many people think of groundwater as an underground river or lake, but actually it occurs wherever water fills the tiny spaces in between grains of any earth material (rock or soil). Earth materials that can transmit large quantities of water through these "pore" spaces are called AQUIFERS. Sand and gravel typically are good aquifers, while materials such as clay and shale (a type of rock) are not.
Groundwater occurs beneath the land surface in Minnesota. In many places it lies just a few feet underground. However, in some aquifers the groundwater lies several hundred feet beneath the surface.
Groundwater usually begins as rain and melted snow which falls across the land and then seeps into the ground. Because this water was once at the surface, human activities can affect the quality of the groundwater. We need to be aware that the things we do at the earth's surface can affect the quality of the water we cook with, wash with, and of course, drink.
WHY PROTECT GROUNDWATER?
First of all, polluted groundwater can pose health hazards to those who drink it. Second, once it is contaminated, groundwater is very difficult to clean (if it can be cleaned at all). If the groundwater near Park Rapids were to become contaminated, the city would likely be required to install filters to purify the water, or be forced to find an alternative source of water for its citizens. This can be very expensive.
When it comes to protecting groundwater, the old saying, "An ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure" applies. Fortunately, the city wells of Park Rapids do not have a contamination problem at this point. The wellhead protection plan address's potential contamination sources in the Drinking Water Supply Management Area to help assure that Park Rapids maintains the quality of its groundwater. Proper management of potential contamination sources will assist in the assurance of safe quality drinking water for decades to come.
If you have any questions, feel free to call Scott Burlingame with the City of Park Rapids (218) 732-3163.