WATER BOARD APPROVES FILTER FOR EAST SIDE WELL

April 18, 2007

Testing shows treatment system would remove 99% of manganese from the well water

Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2007 Contact: David Denig-Chakroff, 266-4652
Al Larson, 266-4653

WATER BOARD APPROVES FILTER FOR EAST SIDE WELL
Testing shows treatment system would remove 99% of manganese from the well water

Madison-The Madison Board of Water Commissioners last night approved a resolution (attached) directing staff to begin the process of installing a water treatment system at Well 29 on the far east side in order to resolve manganese and iron problems that have plagued the well since it was completed in July 2005. The decision to proceed with the water treatment system follows the completion of two studies on options for dealing with the well and a public meeting in the area served by the well held on April 12th.

The results of the two studies on the well were presented to the Water Board at its meeting on March 20 and at the public meeting held last week. One study looked at the feasibility of drilling a new well at a different location in the area served by Well 29 and the likelihood a new well would not encounter similar iron and manganese levels. The second study looked at the feasibility, cost and effectiveness of a number of filtration systems for removing iron and manganese from the existing well water.

Montgomery Associates, the consultant which conducted the well relocation study hoped to determine the source and cause of manganese in the well and to determine the likelihood of encountering manganese at a well at another location. The study found that manganese in the well was not impacted by surface conditions but rather by availability of manganese in the aquifer. It concluded that, given data limitations, no alternate well location that would achieve low manganese concentrations could be reliably recommended.

The second study, conducted by EarthTech, found with a high degree of reliability that a water treatment system could be installed at Well 29 and consistently achieve 99% removal of manganese and 96% removal of iron from the water. Al Larson, Utility Principal Engineer, stated "Using a filter to remove iron and manganese has been a very common and reliable means of producing high quality drinking water for decades in the upper Midwest with over 140 such systems located in Wisconsin."

The costs of drilling a new well and installing a treatment system at the existing well are both estimated at approximately $2.1 million, which is budgeted for the project in the Utility's 2007 capital budget. The added annual operations cost of a new well is estimated to be $12,000 and the annual operating cost of a filter system is estimated at $48,000, resulting in a $36,000 per year cost difference for the treatment system over a new well.

Water Board President Priscilla Mather remarked, "We already have a well that furnishes an adequate volume of water. The new filter will remove the problem manganese at a cost of less than a nickel a month per customer. This is a small price to pay for high quality water that is needed to serve a rapidly growing area."

CITY OF MADISON, WISCONSIN
BOARD OF WATER COMMISSIONERS

BOARD RESOLUTION

Date: April 17, 2007 Presented: April 17, 2007

Resolution No.: BWC 07-001
Adopted: 4-17-07

WHEREAS, Madison Water Utility completed Unit Well 29 in July 2005; and

WHEREAS, Well 29 has consistently produced water with iron levels around 0.4 parts per million (ppm), above federal aesthetic guidelines for drinking water at 0.3 ppm; and

WHEREAS, Well 29 has consistently produced water with manganese levels around 186 parts per billion (ppb), significantly above federal aesthetic guidelines for drinking water at 50 ppb; and

WHEREAS, Madison Water Utility has consistently received customer complaints about water quality whenever Well 29 has operated; and

WHEREAS, Madison Water Utility has studied alternatives for reducing drinking water iron and manganese levels in the Well 29 service area, including (1) drilling a new well to supply water to the Well 29 pumping station, and (2) installing water treatment to remove iron and manganese from Well 29; and

WHEREAS, the report that analyzed the feasibility of drilling a new well concluded, among other things, that there is insufficient data at this time to recommend an alternative well location that would achieve lower manganese concentrations; and

WHEREAS, the report that analyzed the feasibility of installing water treatment concluded that 96% removal of iron and 99% removal of manganese could be consistently achieved with installation of a treatment system estimated to cost $2.1 million with $48,000 annual operating costs; and

WHEREAS, the Utility and Board of Water Commissioners has received and considered public input on this issue, and

WHEREAS, the public has consistently and diligently expressed a desire for substantially reduced manganese in our drinking water;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Madison Board of Water Commissioners hereby directs Utility staff to proceed to install a water treatment system for removal of iron and manganese at Well 29.

Contact:
  • David Denig-Chakroff, 266-4652
  • Al Larson, 266-4653