Rainy May Has Impacts for St. Cloud Water Usage
The heavy rains in May has had numerous impacts on the St. Cloud water supply. Tracy Hodel is the Public Works Director for the city of St. Cloud. She says the impacts of the rainy May impacted all aspects of what they do with water in the community. Hodel says the additional rain can produce more power through their hydro plant but if they get too much flow at hydro they have to lower those gates to meet the requirements of their permit with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. She says we want high flows of water but not too high.
Hodel says at their water treatment facility the high flows do cause the water to be dirty so it takes a lot of effort to monitor and respond to that. She says thankfully the public demand is low. Hodel says they are down about 20% in May of 2022 compared to May of 2021. She says what that means for the drinking water facility is that is allows them time to treat that water thoroughly to insure the best quality drinking water.
Hodel says in regards to wastewater they had a record month with over 13 million gallons a day on average for May of 2022. She says that is a 32% increase on average compared to last May. Hodel says the focus there is just managing that flow so it doesn't upset the treatment process on the wastewater side of things.
The city of St. Cloud along with the Twin Cities and Rochester continue to monitor COVID-19 by monitoring wastewater. Hodel says there was a spike of COVID in St. Cloud about 3 to 4 weeks ago with that number decreasing a big in the last week. If you'd like to monitor their wastewater findings the city is making this information available. Here is a link to that information.