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St. Paul Park opts for temporary GAC filtration

Granular-activated carbon (GAC) filters were added to wells in Cottage Grove last June. The city of St. Paul Park plans to do the same in the coming months. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia

ST. PAUL PARK — After a lengthy engineering study, the city is moving forward with granular-activated carbon (GAC) filtration for temporary treatment.

The Minnesota Department of Health recently informed the city that perfluorochemicals in two of three municipal wells are too high.

The engineering study presented to City Council June 18 outlined four options for water treatment, but council members felt the filtration option was most appropriate. They voted 5-0 to approve the filtration.

The city has asked for conservation efforts from residents over the summer while running only from one well until the GAC filters are placed.

Consulting engineer Greg Johnson with WSB said with a very aggressive schedule they could have the filtration in four to eight months.

"We're going to do everything we can to get it this year," Public Works Supervisor Jeff Dionisopoulos said, but noted construction could be starting in the spring.

City Administrator Kevin Walsh said they expect to be reimbursed for the cost of the filtration system under the 2007 consent agreement with 3M. It will take an estimated $3.8 million to get it up and running.

Dionisopoulos said the city is currently considering placing the filters near Heritage and Whitbred parks, with water lines running from the wells to the filtration center to be treated.

All three wells will be on one system.

Though the GAC filtration solution is considered temporary, it can last several years until a permanent solution is figured out.

The Minnesota Department of Health, Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources are forming two working groups composed of city officials and residents in affected areas to help determine long-term solutions.

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