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Milky looking water can be caused by several things.
It is not harmful but can be further looked into.
Show All Answers
Please find the most recent Water Quality Report here.
The City of Otsego’s water originates from deep water aquifers, several hundred feet deep. Well water is typically high in dissolved minerals; iron is our most predominant mineral with orange color variations and soft flakey texture.
The City of Otsego does not maintain a water treatment facility to remove background minerals however uses a polyphosphate to keep them in solution. Iron in our water is not a health concern but is very good at staining.
Common rusty water causes:
The Utility Operations team flushes hydrants spring and fall to help remove any build up within the main lines. This high velocity water movement scours lining of City pipes and flushes out accumulations through a fire hydrant. Additionally, mixers are established in each Water Tower to keep water age uniform; water tower levels are seasonally adjusted to encourage frequent turnover resulting in fresher water.
If you are seeing rusty water:
The City adds chlorine to its water system to prevent bacteria growth. Chlorine residuals are tested multiple times per week. Chlorine adjustments are seasonal adjusted due to water age and demand. If you are noticing a stronger chlorine odor, it is generally an indication of a loss of chlorine residual. If you can smell or taste chlorine in your drinking water, there isn’t enough chlorine residual in it.
This is related to the background minerals (iron, Manganese) in our wells, variations may be noticed based on the drink receptacle used.
These spots are caused by deposited calcium hardness. If your home has a water softener, check for salt and condition.
The City suggests a starting at a setting of 12 grains. Please ensure your softener is set to regenerate on demand vs time linked.
Smelly water, or rotten egg odor, is hydrogen sulfide gas that is present in the water. It is not usually harmful at the low concentration that occurs in a household water system. The City maintains a chlorine residual throughout the system that eliminates this smell, but if water sits in any place too long (dead-end lines, unoccupied houses, new developments with only a few homes), the chlorine dissipates and results in the smell. Water heaters with a magnesium anode rode are another common cause of this odor, especially in houses where little water is used. To eliminate smelly water caused by your water heater, turn your hot water heater to high for several hours (150-160 degrees). This should kill the sulfur bacteria. Then flush your system, especially your water heater. Also, the magnesium rod can be replaced with an aluminum one or removed completely. If you live on a dead-end line or in an area with just a few homes, we recommend calling the City Water Department so that the lines can be flushed to assure that there is chlorine present to kill the hydrogen sulfide odor.
Occasionally your water system may experience hard water or calcium deposits in your sink basins, shower tiles, or on the faucets. These mineral deposits, although harmless, will build up over time leaving a hard scale substance. These deposits can be cleaned off with a mild scouring pad and vinegar, Lime Away, Simple Green, CLR or other products sold at local retail stores. Follow label directions for best results.
Sometimes residents will notice a green tint their water particularly in their tub. We have found it is a reflective of the tub color and refraction of minerals in the water that gives this coloration. Shale geology is prevalent in our source aquifers which naturally has a green hue.
Each of our Water Operations Team are certified by the state and follow sample frequency and procedures. The MDH monitors and conducts routine sampling, compliance and inspections of our system. Our wells are deep and protected by solid confined layers mitigation contaminant risks.
For additional questions or comments please reach out to the MN Department of Health, 651-201-4700 or 651-201-4600.
If you wish to be added to a sample site list, please let us know. Sampling can be conducted for coliform, chlorine, fluoride, lead & copper during their assigned times.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has recently developed guidance for manganese consumption in drinking water. Manganese is a mineral naturally occurring in rocks and soil which can be absorbed into water and food. Your body needs manganese to stay healthy, though like many other minerals, excessive amounts can cause complications with extended years of overexposure. A person who has a healthy liver and kidneys is able to excrete excess dietary/most manganese.
Drinking water guidelines:
(mg/L = milligrams per Liter)
Minnesota groundwater can naturally have levels of manganese higher than the MDH guidance. Public and private well owners are currently being notified of the new guidance’s. Manganese levels at water sources range from 0.01 mg/L (10 ppb) and 0.7 mg/L (700 ppb). Varying water sources are used and blended to produce the water distributed. Private well manganese levels are not monitored by the City. Common household water treatment filters and softeners may reduce manganese in your drinking water. The best way to identify those levels within your home is to sample and pay for an analysis. Laboratory analysis pricing is approximately $30.
Accredited Local Testing sites:
Water Laboratories, Inc. Elk River 763-441-7509
Traut Water Analysis Lab Waite Park 320-251-5090
Learn more by contacting (MDH) at email@example.com or directly at 651-201-4700 with questions.
The City is working with engineering consultants and MDH professionals for plans to reduce the manganese levels in the City’s municipal drinking water.
These projects include:
1. Seeking additional water sources.
2. Modifying well houses to incorporate water treatment.
What can residents do?
Several things you can do to filter manganese out of your drinking water. Certain types of home water treatment devices remove or reduce manganese (some refrigerator water filters, pour-through pitchers, units that attach to faucet, water softeners, etc.).
If you already have a home water treatment device that removes or reduces manganese, you may want to test the water levels coming from the tap you use for drinking and cooking. This will give you a general idea of the manganese level in your water. If you choose to test your water, we recommend using one of the accredited labs listed on MDH’s webpage.
If you do not have a home water treatment device that removes or reduces manganese, you may want to consider installing one on the tap used for drinking, cooking and preparing infant formula. Bottled water is a short-term alternative. Look for bottled water that is not labeled “mineral water.” Treatment devices should be certified to remove manganese. All home water treatment units require maintenance. Visit the MDH webpage on Home Water Treatment to learn more.
The Utility Operations team flushes hydrants spring and fall to help remove any build up within the main lines. This high velocity water movement scours the lining of the city pipes and flushes out accumulations through the hydrant. Mixers are operated within the Water Tower to keep water age uniform and tower levels are adjusted seasonally to encourage frequent turnover resulting in fresher water.
If the plumber has the tools to isolate your line, they may do so. City Operations Staff can assist for a fee by calling 763-441-2310.
This is the water shut-off valve to your home. Seasonal settling can cause the valve (sometimes referred to as a curb box) to stick up above the surrounding ground.
The city is responsible for maintaining only the water meter inside the home. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to maintain the service line from the street water main into and including plumbing within the structure being served.
Most insurances are different regarding coverages - typically no it is not. However, contact your insurance company to confirm this and request if your service lines (including the sewer portion within the street) can be covered.
All water or sewer leaks, as well as water outages, should be reported immediately to the City 763-441-2310 or Report a Concern.
Although there may be several reasons why water pressure is decreasing, in most cases water leaks or mineral build-up within your plumbing lines cause you to experience this problem. It is encouraged you check if any inhouse filtration is plugged, bypass the softener to see if it is plugging and check to ensure valves within the house are fully open and not leaking.
Most Likely Causes: (Homeowner or their plumber can check)
Plugged whole house filter – homeowner or their plumber can check, replace clean or bypass
Plugged softener – homeowner or their plumber can check or bypass
Valve within house does not open all the way – homeowner or their plumber can check
Plugged individual faucet, filter or screen – if only an individual location has low flow
If irrigation related – could be a lot of reasons (leaks, too many heads on a zone)
The City recommends flushing out the home plumbing twice per year, or when water is discolored or carries an unpleasant odor. Please use the following steps.
If the home has a water softener, bypass it temporarily.
Remove any filters on the end of your faucets, if possible.
Open all cold-water faucets and let run for 5 minutes.
Following the above steps will result in removal of loose sediment from your water system and ensures high quality, fresh water for your home or business.