MOUND, MN. - Mound, Minnesota, residents are confronted with a brutal reality: despite having some of the highest water bills in the state, their tap water is unsafe to drink. The city's water supply contains high manganese levels, which can harm one's health, especially for the elderly and young children. Residents have been looking for a solution to this issue for the past two years, but nothing has been found.
The problem is that not only are we paying excessive amounts for our water bills, but you can't drink the water that you're paying for," Mound resident Heidi Peterson said of the water situation.
Like thousands of others in Mound, Peterson and her family have been forced to use bottled water as an alternative. The family still uses tap water to shower, brush their teeth, boil eggs, and wash their clothes, but they worry that drinking it could harm their health.
I don't know of any public utility provider that doesn't have a drinkable-at-the-faucet goal for the level and quality of service they provide," city manager Eric Hoversten stated.
"We are currently not meeting that objective." However, he said the city does not have the resources to pay for the filtration plant necessary to lower the manganese levels in the well water. The filtration plant is expected to cost $36 million.
The city is asking the legislature for help, but even if funding is approved, the problem will not be solved for another three years. Residents are urged to write to legislators to voice their concerns, and Mayor Jason Holt is working with legislators on this.
Another Mound resident, Lisa Rosenthal, was able to install a costly filtration system in her home; however, she is concerned about those who cannot afford alternatives.
It's a serious problem that really needs to be dealt with," she stated. "Drinking is harmful to your health and unhealthy. In addition, the majority of people who live in Mound have fixed incomes."
Peterson stated, "My hope is that someone kind of comes to the rescue," expressing her optimism. She wants to know when the water problem in Mound will be resolved.
Sadly, Mound is not the only community experiencing this issue. Sixty-six other Minnesota communities, including Lino Lakes and Ramsey, have informed residents that their water contains elevated manganese levels. Residents of Mound hope their water problem will soon be resolved because it affects the entire state and needs to be addressed.
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