Mayor Announces Funding for Well #29 Filter in Capital Budget

August 29, 2006

Madison – Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said today that he will include funding for a filtering system on Well #29 in his 2007 capital budget proposal. The well, located on Madison’s far east side, produces water with levels of manganese that – although well within EPA advisory guidelines for health and safety – exceeds recommended aesthetic guidelines. The well is currently on standby status.

“This investment in our water system will help ensure that we have the highest-quality, safest water supply possible,” said Cieslewicz. “It is one part of a much broader, aggressive, citywide strategy to protect and enhance the quality of Madison drinking water.”

The filtering system, which will cost an estimated $2.4 million, will reduce the presence of metals such as iron and manganese at the well head to negligible levels. In recent tests, Well #29 was producing water with approximately 170 parts per billion (ppb) of manganese. This is below the health advisory standard of 300 ppb, but above the 50 ppb “aesthetic” standard set by the EPA.

Beyond the east side area served by Well #29, the aggressive, citywide flushing program first authorized by the mayor in 2005 is also underway. The high-velocity “uni-directional” flushing technique is designed to scour accumulated manganese and other materials from the city water mains.

As of mid-August, 1241 samples had been collected from the four well flushing areas that have historically produced the highest levels of manganese. Of those samples, 88% met the EPA “aesthetic” standard for manganese; 11% tested above the aesthetic standard, but met the health standard; and 1% of the samples tested above the health standard. (Each of the sites that tested above the health standard was re-tested several times, and each time, the retested samples met the advisory health standard level.)

“We have examined all of the options for preserving our investment in this well,” said Ald. Lauren Cnare, who represents a portion of the area served by the well, and is a member of the Board of Water Commissioners. “This is the best way to maintain that investment and provide high-quality water to both current and future residents of this growing part of the city.”

The mayor will submit his 2007 capital budget to the Common Council on September 5. The Council will take final action on the proposal in mid-November.

Contact:
  • George Twigg, 608-266-4611