RESIDENTS IN HUNTER’S CREST EXPERIENCED THE UNFORTUNATE RESULT OF A CHEMICAL PUMP FAILURE IN MINNETRISTA’S WATER TREATMENT PLANT on January 21. The pump failure resulted in too much of a chemical, permanganate, entering the water turning the water pink. Our public works department began addressing the problem immediately upon becoming aware of it, taking the pump off-line, flushing water lines and even visited a number of homes to direct residents in flushing their home water tanks. The failure was caused by a control signal that malfunctioned in the pump.
City Council received a briefing on the matter last night and a member of the MN Department of Health was in attendance to answer questions. We were informed this kind of failure is thought to be rare (although statistics were not provided) and that the pump has been repaired and should be back on-line shortly. The city’s website and Facebook page have been updated with the current information for residents.
City Council now needs to weigh the probability of an event like this in the future with the costs associated with preventing it with additional monitoring/testing equipment, understanding that the costs would most likely be borne by residents that use city water. I think it’s important to know how often these controls fail so we can determine if the risk is acceptable or not. We can’t predict or prevent every catastrophe but we can do our best to understand the risks and make wise decisions in taking preventative measures. Obviously it’s not wise to spend a great deal of money to prevent something that likely would never happen again. Conversely it would be foolish not to install the equipment if the likelihood were high. We need these questions answered before making the decision.
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