The City of Woodbury’s new temporary water treatment plant is now operational. The facility, located near the intersection of Valley Creek Road and Tower Drive, is treating water from four wells to meet water quality standards and guidelines for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
Seven of the city’s 19 wells were removed from service since 2017 due to PFAS levels that were above federal and state water quality standards and guidelines.
Bringing four of the seven wells back into service allows the city to meet the increased demand for water during the summer months. The remaining three wells will remain out of service at this time.
The temporary water treatment plant, which typically takes about 18 months to two years to construct, was completed in about five months. In order to meet peak summer demand, it was critical the temporary treatment facility was operational as quickly as possible. The City would not be operating the facility today without the work and cooperation of the State of Minnesota, 3M, the City Council, numerous city staff, our engineering consultant teams, and the construction expertise of the project contractor.
Construction on the site will continue through the summer to finalize building components and site restoration.
Visit the PFAS page
Water efficiency remains critical
With the temporary water treatment facility now operational, the potential for increased irrigation restrictions this summer is significantly reduced. Thank you to all residents who made an effort to reduce their water use to eliminate the need for additional water restrictions while construction of the facility took place.
However, it is important to remember the city’s lawn watering policy remains in effect. The watering rules allow lawn sprinkling on an odd/even schedule (only before noon and after 5 p.m.).
Remember, just because the city allows watering on an odd-even schedule doesn’t mean residents and businesses need to water that often. To keep your lawn green, it only needs 1 inch of water per week, including rainfall.
Tips on smart water use
Smart irrigation controllers available at a reduced rate
When irrigation is necessary, make sure you are using the most efficient technology available. WaterSense certified smart irrigation controllers are now available to homeowners at a discounted rate of $35. These controllers connect your irrigation system to local weather forecasts through your WiFi to adjust the system before and after a rain event, and also corrects for temperatures and wind speeds. Since the city started this program in 2016, these controllers reduced water use by an average of 30,000 gallons of water per household per year (resulting in smaller water bills, too).
All irrigation controllers installed in the city in 2018 and after are required to be WaterSense certified.
Learn more and purchase a smart irrigation controller
Long-term water treatment solutions
The temporary water treatment facility is expected to be in operation until a long-term water treatment solution can be implemented in the next five to seven years. Funds for the long-term solution are expected to be available from the $720 million settlement the state received from 3M in 2018. The State of Minnesota released long-term recommendations in September 2020 for several communities in the east metro area. You can review the recommendations and submit comments through Oct. 26 on the Conceptual Drinking Water Supply Plan website.
The 3M Company made PFAS at its Cottage Grove facility from the late 1940s until 2002. PFAS wastes were disposed of at multiple sites in Washington County. The source of the PFAS in Woodbury’s groundwater has been identified as these disposal sites.
The 2007 consent decree between the State of Minnesota and 3M is funding the design and construction of the temporary water treatment for the City of Woodbury at a total capital cost of $11 million.