by Dennis Dalman
A comprehensive plan to protect Sartell’s drinking water supply was approved by the city council at its Feb. 26 meeting.
The plan is called the Comprehensive Wellhead Protection Plan, Part II. It was presented in great detail to the council by consultant Marilyn Bayerl of Bayerl Water Resources, Alexandria; and by Karen Voz of the Minnesota Department of Health.
Part II of the plan will cover the next 10 years during which time constant water-quality data will be collected and analyzed, as well as any potential causes of possible contamination. The contamination concerns include such factors as surface-water runoff; feedlots; chemical spills; hazardous wastes; other waterways such as rivers, lakes, holding ponds; and storm water.
Bayerl worked closely with the health department during Part I of the study, completed last year, which was a detailed analysis of wellheads in the Sartell area, geology and all factors impinging about water quality or lack thereof.
Part II sets goals, strategies and includes an ongoing education-awareness outreach program.
Bayerl praised the expertise and cooperation of those she worked with to formulate the plans, including Jeff Bemboom, Sartell’s wellhead protection manager; Nate Keller, Sartell community development technician; Dan Heim, LeSauk Township Board chairman; and Katie Breth of the Stearns Soil and Water Conservation District.
The plan, Part II, will be reviewed by the state for a 90-day period before it will become final, Bayerl noted.
The plan also identifies areas of concern for potential contaminants, such as private wells that have not been sealed; leaks and spills; wastewater discharge; and septic systems.
The plan contains many interesting facts about Sartell and its water usage. The city has nine wells ranging in depth from 92 to 157 feet deep. There are three water towers and three underground tanks. The year for highest water usage was 2012 when 819-million gallons were used.
The city pumps an average of 1.5-million gallons per day, and there are 4,720 metered water connections in the city.