The water is treated at four state-of-the-art water treatment facilities that remove chemical solvent contamination and naturally occurring iron and manganese. The New Brighton water system contains 92 miles of water mains, over 5,700 water service connections, 950 water main valves, and 846 fire hydrants. The City's four water towers have a combined water storage capacity of 2.75 million gallons. Chlorine and fluoride are added to the water for disinfection and dental hygiene.
New Brighton has grown from a small farming community of 500 people in 1930, experiencing very rapid growth in the 60s, to around 22,000 people today. The average daily water usage of the City today is about 2.75 million gallons, but it can peak at over nine million gallons on very hot dry summer days due to lawn sprinkling.
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The hardness of water is related to the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium it naturally contains. The higher the amount of minerals, the harder the water. Signs of hard water include spots or a film on dishes, residue on clothing, or a “slimy” feeling on your skin after washing your hands or showering. You may notice that you need to use more detergent, soap, or shampoo. Hard water can also cause mineral buildup in pipes and mechanical equipment.
While there are no harmful health effects from these minerals in the water, some homeowners choose to use a water softener to reduce the hardness.
The hardness of the water in New Brighton is 24 grains per gallon. If you have a water softener, we suggest setting the softener at or below 24 grains per gallon. If the water feels too “slimy,” turn the softener down in small increments until you reach the desired softness. Water that is over softened may become corrosive and damage your internal plumbing.
If you have any questions please contact Public Works at 651-638-2114.
The Private Water Service consists of all the components connected to the Public Water Main. These components are as follows:
- Corporation Valve - the connection device of the private service line to the larger water main
- Curb stop and standpipe - this is the valve that shuts the water off to the property and is located on or near the property line
- Private Water Service Line - this is the copper pipe (can also be plastic or other materials) which extends from the larger watermain into the home.
- The shut off valves on either side of the water meter
- The water meter is owned by the property owner, but will be maintained by the city and cover repairs and maintenance due to normal wear. Freezing service lines to replace valves or internal plumbing is the responsibility of the homeowner.
In most cases the problems found relating to the Private Water Service are water leaks. These leaks are the property owner's responsibility to correct, and upon discovery the city will require that the repair(s) be made quickly.
Other frequent problems are issues with the curb stop and/or the connected standpipe. When a property owner needs/requests the water service to be shut off for internal plumbing work, the city will locate and operate the external curb stop. In some cases, it might not be possible to turn this valve due to corrosion or a bent standpipe, which interferes with its operation. In either of these cases it will be the property owner's responsibility to correct it.
Some curb stops are located in a driveway. When repairs to the standpipe are corrected, the city will provide the property owner with a device to make a more permanent repair. It will be the property owner's responsibility to hire a contractor to excavate the site to make the repair. If the valve needs to be replaced, the contractor will be required to obtain an Outside Sewer and Water Permit. If just the standpipe is repaired or replaced, there is no permit or inspection required.
Due to the possibility of extreme frost conditions in the metro area, property owners in New Brighton and other metro cities could experience issues with frozen water line services. The City of New Brighton wants to alert residents and property owners to this problem and provide advice. Thawing frozen service lines and plumbing can be costly to property owners.
Residents and property owners that use water less frequently are more susceptible to frozen services. If you have discolored water, your water service may freeze soon. Run water immediately and call Public Works.
You can measure the temperature of your water after running a faucet until it is cold. If you find it to be 40 degrees or colder, you should run water continuously to avoid a frozen water service and call Public Works.
What to Do if Your Pipes Are Frozen
Call the City of New Brighton Public Works Department at 651-638-2111 or 651-638-2119 (7 am to 3 pm, Monday through Friday) or Ramsey County Dispatch at 651-767-0640 (after hours and weekends). City staff can provide information to you on contractors known to be working in the area thawing frozen services.
Lawn Sprinkling Restrictions
Summer water demand is high compared to the winter months. Lawn watering is the primary cause of increased water demand during the summer.
The City of New Brighton has the following ongoing lawn sprinkling policy to ensure there will be adequate water available at all times plus reserves in storage for fire protection purposes. If every home in the City tried to sprinkle lawns at the same time water demand will greatly exceed water production capabilities and a total sprinkling ban will be needed to reserve water for fire protection. If half of the homes in the City sprinkle lawns every other day and the other half the alternate day, there will be plenty of water for all purposes.
New Brighton's Lawn Sprinkling Policy
- Even-numbered addresses may sprinkle on even-numbered calendar dates
- Odd-numbered addresses may sprinkle on odd-numbered calendar dates
- Newly seeded or sodded lawns may be sprinkled every day for a period not to exceed three weeks
- Violation of these policies is punishable by a fine of $40
- The City asks that you avoid lawn sprinkling during the peak demand hours of 4 pm to 10 pm on hot, dry summer days.
It can take 3,000 gallons of water per week to keep a 1/4 acre lawn green. Bob Mugaas, University of MN suggests:
- Watering deeply and infrequently during the dry summer months of July and August. Clay soils, which are common in New Brighton, hold water well. Applying 3/4 of an inch to 1 inch of water per week will maintain a green lawn. On average, one and a half hours of watering will apply that much water. Water sprinklers that throw large drops are more effective and waste less water than those with fine, high sprays. Your watering schedule should be adjusted to account for rainfall.
- Overwatering wastes your money. Any extra water, applied beyond the needs of the grass and moisture-holding capacity of the soil, moves down out of the root zone of the grass where it cannot be used by your lawn. This is especially true in some of our sandy areas in the city.
- Overwatering also results in the removal of plant nutrients (some of which you may have purchased in the form of fertilizer) from the zone where the roots can use it. Excess watering may cause disease problems in your lawn.
- Mowing your lawn 2 to 3 inches above the soil line, while removing no more than 40% of the height of the grass, will conserve water while keeping your grass green. Don't scalp your lawn! Your soil will be shaded and cooler, preventing evaporation. This also assists in weed prevention.
- Lawns can be allowed to go into a summer dormancy period. This will save you money and time spent mowing. If you choose to do this, do not fertilize your lawn in the spring. Gradually decrease water application as July approaches, then apply 1/4 inch to ½ inch of water every two to three weeks. Shorten the interval if you have sandy soil on your property.
The City water contains a small amount of naturally occurring iron and manganese that collects in the water system. If you get rusty water in your home during the flushing, run a cold laundry faucet for about five minutes to purge your home plumbing. If you happen to get some rusty water in your hot water heater, it may take a day or so to completely clear up.
The City of New Brighton flushes the fire hydrants in the fall, usually in October, to remove iron and manganese from the water system. The flushing may temporarily cause some reddish-brown water for New Brighton residents. The water is safe for human consumption; however, it could stain clothing if washing clothes. If discoloration of water occurs, please refrain from washing clothes until the water is clear. It should clear up in 24 hours.
The hydrant flushing begins along 7th Street NW and continues north to County Road H. When the north half of the City is complete, the south half will be done, beginning at 7th Street NW and working south to County Road D. The flushing takes approximately one week to complete.
Contact the City at 651-638-2050 if discoloration of your water persists or if you have any questions.
Odor or Taste
A common complaint about water is its odor or taste. It is important to remember that an odor does not mean the water is unsafe to drink. The City of New Brighton's goal is to provide both safe and aesthetically pleasing water.
Odor and taste problems often are due to the source of the water. High mineral levels are common in Minnesota groundwater, and minerals affect the taste of water. Iron and manganese produce a metallic taste to water; manganese can also impart a bitter flavor and can be the cause of an oily-looking film seen on brewed coffee. Calcium and magnesium, which are responsible for water being "hard", actually can make water taste better. The water in New Brighton is classified as hard, ranging from 17 to 20 grains.
Odor and taste problems can originate in your own home. Water heaters are often a source of offensive odors in water, especially if you are away from home for long periods. Flushing or draining the water heater regularly can alleviate this problem.
If your drinking water does not taste or smell the way you would like, try filling a pitcher with tap water and letting it stand in your refrigerator for a few hours prior to drinking the water. This will allow odors to dissipate and better-tasting water may result. Change the water in the pitcher every couple of days.
Any issues with the taste or odor of your water? Send a Citizen Request.
Did you know that by making just a few simple changes, you can cut your water usage and have a huge impact on our water resources?
- Save money and water by turning off the water while you wash your hands and brush your teeth. Turn the faucet on only for rinsing. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has calculated that this practice can save more than 200 gallons of water per month in a household.
- Conserve water by taking a shower instead of a bath. Showers with water-efficient shower heads use 10 to 25 gallons of water for a 10-minute shower while the average bathtub takes up to 70 gallons. Turning the shower off after getting wet and turning it back only to rinse off will save even more water. If you don't have a water-efficient shower head, consider installing one that has a flow rate of less than 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) for maximum efficiency. Standard shower heads use up to 40% more water!
- Check your faucets and toilets for leaks. Even little drips add up, resulting in a lot of wasted water. The USGS Water Science School has an online drip calculator you can use to calculate how much water you will save by fixing those drips.
- Raise your lawn mower cutting height. Longer grass needs less water. Grass that is watered less frequently also develops a stronger root system.
- Use mulch around shrubs and garden plants. It minimizes evaporation and reduces weed growth.
- Stop watering your lawn. Using a sprinkler for one hour three times a week uses about 12,240 gallons of water per month. Using an irrigation system with 8 zones for 15 minutes twice a week uses about 15,360 gallons per month. If you must water your lawn, water for limited periods of time and do it in the morning to minimize evaporation.
- Consider obtaining a rain barrel. Collect rainwater and use it to water your plants.
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The City of New Brighton Public Works Department flushes all of the fire hydrants connected to the distribution system, public and private, every spring. Section 508 of the Minnesota State Fire Code requires inspection, testing and maintenance of fire protection water supplies, which include water lines and fire hydrant systems. Fire hydrant systems shall be subject to periodic tests, maintained in an operative condition at all times and shall be repaired where defective. Private hydrants are fire hydrants that are located outside of the City of New Brighton Right-of-Way and on private property. If a private hydrant is found to be in need of repairs, it is the responsibility of the property owner to complete the repairs.
The locations of all public and private hydrants can be found on our Hydrant Location Map (PDF).