SAUK RAPIDS (WJON News) -- During its meeting Monday night the Sauk Rapids City Council approved spending more money to address PFAS chemicals found in the city's drinking water.

City Engineer Scott Hedlund says the city has approved $335,000 for the design phase. Some of the projects that will be necessary include a water treatment plant capacity increase, new well houses and new wells, and water main upgrades. The total estimated cost for all of that is about $6.2 million.

Hedlund says some other projects related to PFAS abatement that are already underway include a new well, booster station modification, and yard piping work all of which is estimated to cost $850,000.

He says the city is doing this work now so it can be shovel-ready when state or federal grant dollars become available. It is expected to be very competitive to get those grants as many cities are dealing with the same issues.

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There's no timeline yet for those future projects, but Hedlund says they'd like to move quickly if they can get some grants. As for the projects that are already underway, he says they should be completed by the middle of next year.

State agencies in Minnesota are working together to manage the state’s growing problem of per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) — human-made chemicals known to be toxic that do not break down in the environment. The chemicals are produced, used, processed, and released into the environment, yet we aren’t fully aware of their toxicity and dangers to residents’ health and the environment. They have been found in groundwater and surface water throughout Minnesota and have seeped into some drinking water systems.



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