Tap Water

Tap Water in New Brighton

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 is 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 60’s, 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.

Water Meter Upgrade Project

New Brighton has initiated a three-year replacement project for indoor home water meters.

Water meter replacement requires the city’s contractor to enter most homes in New Brighton. Typically, meter replacement can be completed in less than an hour. Old meters will be replaced at no cost to water customers.

The new meters communicate with a central collector antenna which will collect consumption information without accessing properties. This project will improve consistency and make reading more efficient.

meter.jpgProperty owners will be notified when their area will undergo installation.

Homes subject to meter replacement will be directly notified by the contractor,  HydroCorp Inc. Upon notification, homeowners will be able to schedule an appointment to have a technician from HydroCorp enter their home to swap out the meter.

It is necessary that someone 18 years of age or older be present during the entire appointment.

Prior to the scheduled appointment, it is the property owner’s responsibility to:

Please provide a clear, unobstructed access to the water meter in the basement. This means the technician has access to operate both valves and is able to access, remove and replace the meter with both hands.

Provide fully operable shut off valves on both sides of the meter. If these valves leak or fail during the meter replacement, it is the property owner’s responsibility to replace or repair the valves.

If it is found to be unsafe to exchange the meter due to accessibility or because of obvious deterioration of the valves, the meter exchange will need to be rescheduled after the homeowner has made the necessary repairs.

valves.jpg

Protect Your Water Service from Freezing

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.

Please read the following advice on what to do if your pipes do freeze.

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 (7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., M-F) 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.

Wellhead Protection

Wellhead Protection is a way to prevent drinking water from becoming polluted by managing potential sources of contamination in the area which supplies water to a public well. Much can be done to prevent pollution, such as the wise use of land and chemicals. Public health is protected and expense of treating polluted water or drilling new wells is avoided though wellhead protection efforts.

Groundwater often moves very slowly. Once it is contaminated, it may remain so for a long time, and maybe difficult and expensive to locate the source and remove the contaminant.

The Minnesota Groundwater Protection Act of 1989 granted the Commissioner of Health authority to develop wellhead protection measures for wells serving public water supplies (this rule does not apply to private wells). This action was in response to the 1986 amendment of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act in which states are required to implement wellhead protection programs for public water supply wells.

Wellhead protection is a way to prevent contaminants from entering the area where drinking water is drawn. Specifically, community public water systems like New Brighton’s are required to delineate, inventory, and manage an inner wellhead management zone. Additionally, they must create a formal wellhead protection plan.

The wellhead protection planning process is broken down into two parts. Part one updates the wellhead protection area and drinking water supply management area, and re-assesses the vulnerability of the municipal wells.  Part two updates the wellhead protection plan, including goals, objectives, plans of action, program evaluations, and contingency plans. The New Brighton City Council approved the Wellhead Protection in October 2013.

More Information

The process to create Well Head Protection Area (WHPA) and Drinking Water Supply Management Area (DWSMA) consists of two parts (see Part 1 and Part 2 attachments).  Our full plan development took us nearly 5 years to complete and will be updated every ten years going forward.

The goals of the Wellhead Protection Program:

  1. Maintain or improve the water quality of the City’s water supply
  2. Work with the surrounding cities with the goal of protecting the source water aquifers
  3. Provide information & promote activities that protect the aquifers used by the City
  4. Collect data to support future Wellhead Protection work

Our approved Wellhead Protection plan includes action items for protecting the source water aquifers within the DWSMA and covers the following categories:

  • Well management – Proper maintenance and sealing of private wells
  • Potential contaminant source properties – Most important action: continue to operate the PGACWTF
  • Public education – Quality of the City’s drinking water & Awareness/understanding of Wellhead Protection Program
  • Land use management
  • Continued data collection – Geologic/hydrogeologic data & Periodically update potential contaminant source information

For more information regarding Wellhead Protection, please click on the following links:

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 on-going 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 4pm to 10pm 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, Univ. 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″ to 1″ of water per week will maintain a green lawn. On an 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″ to ½” of water every two to three weeks. Shorten the interval if you have sandy soil on your property.

Rusty Water, Taste, and Odor Problems

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 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 St NW and continues north to Co Rd H. When the north half of the City is complete, the south half will be done, beginning at 7th St NW and working south to Co Rd 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.

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 17-20 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.

Consumer Confidence Reports

Water Conservation

What You Can Do

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 EPA has calculated that this practicecan 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 – 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 on-line 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 rain water and use it to water your plants.

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