Water treatment plant set to come online in a few weeks

Featured photo: Gov. Tim Walz visits with then-Bemidji mayor Rita Albrecht at the Water Treatment Plant under construction in late October. Photo by Scott Williams.

The first phase of Bemidji’s new drinking water plant is set to be complete in about three weeks.

The first phase of the project will be able to treat between 1,600 to 1,800 gallons of water per minute, which almost meets all of the city’s water needs, with the exception of summer’s hottest days, where the city would need between 2,000 and 2,200 gallons per minute.

City Engineer Craig Gray says planning for the second phase, which would treat up to 2500 gallons per minute, will begin in the coming months.

The treatment plant is designed to treat forever chemicals known as PFAs, which are found in almost every household.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency recently issued a blueprint to address PFAs contamination in storm water and wastewater systems as well as in landfills.

The water treatment plant’s price tag is anticipated to be around $16 million for both phases, with $10 million in state bonding dollars dedicated to the project.

Listen to the full interview with City Engineer Craig Gray here:

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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