Austin Utilities to hold open house at Belair Water Tower
Published 8:13 am Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Austin Utilities will hold an open house from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at its Belair Water Tower located at 206 14th St. NW on Wednesday.
The open house celebrates the completion of a two-year rehabilitation project. Visitors are invited to stop in and see the workings of a water tower and well system.
“This is a very visible site in the community but many don’t get a chance to see the inside,” said Todd Jorgenson, Gas & Water Operations director. “We wanted to give people a chance to see that.”
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The site recently received nearly $2 million in renovations including a full replacement of the building and pumping system components, and complete electrical system upgrade, much of which was needed to bring the facility up to current Minnesota Department of Health requirements.
The water tower was originally constructed in 1955 by the Chicago Bridge & Iron Company at a cost of $178,987 and holds one million gallons of water. The well house, originally built in 1954, draws from the Jordan Aquifer and has an average pumping rate of 1,500 gallons per minute.
The open house is part of its annual effort in May, along with the American Water Works Association, to recognize the vital role water plays in our daily lives. This year’s theme is “Protect the Source.”
Finding information about local water is simple. At the event, the utility will have available, their newly-released annual water quality report as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act. Also called a Consumer Confidence Report, it identifies the quality of local drinking water and if any contaminants are detected and if so, which ones. Also available in the report is information on each community’s local source for drinking water.
Participants who attend will have an opportunity to learn more about water conservation and water programs at AU including their Conserve & Save rebate program which provides rebates on the purchase of qualified water saving devices. They may also select a free water saving device to take home.
Austin Utilities provides drinking water to its residents from a groundwater source: eight wells ranging from 110 to 1075 feet deep that draw water from the Prairie Du Chien-Jordan, Spillville, and St. Peter aquifers. Austin’s water quality is especially high due to the depth of the wells and the quality of the source, according to officials; therefore there is little need for treatment. To view the latest water quality report visit www.austinutilities.com or pick up a copy in the lobby of the utility.