Minneapolis Public Works Water Treatment & Distribution Services (WTDS)
In 1867, the Minneapolis City Council authorized the establishment of the Minneapolis Water Works. The division initially only supplied the Fire Department with water. In 1872, the City’s first drinking water pump station was built on the Mississippi River above St. Anthony Falls, and the division was expanded to include the distribution of water to residents. Minneapolis was the first Minnesota city with a public drinking water system.
The Tap Water We Produce
- The Mississippi River is our sole water source.
- Approximately 21 billion gallons of water are pumped from the Mississippi River by WTDS each year.
- To remove impurities and prepare the river water for drinking, WTDS uses multiple treatment processes, including softening, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection.
- Our softening plant removes about 65,000 lbs of hardness from the river water each day.
- Byproducts from the softening process are used by Minnesota and Wisconsin farmers to neutralize soil.
- Fluoride was introduced to the treatment process in 1957 to help prevent tooth decay.
- Approximately 500 chemical, physical, and bacteriological tests are performed each day. For more information about water quality, see our Consumer Confidence Report and our Monthly or YearlyPlant Effluent Water Analysis.
- WTDS produces an average of 57 million gallons of drinking water each day – at that rate, we could fill Lake of the Isles in about four days.
Around 38 percent of our water is used for institutional, commercial and industrial purposes. The University of Minnesota Twin Cities, the Metropolitan Airport Commission, and the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center are our largest customers, and account for 5 percent of the total water sold by WTDS.
Our Distribution System
The WTDS distribution system consists of nine pump stations, eight finished water reservoirs (with a storage capacity of 162 million gallons), over 15,000 isolation valves, and a network of more than 1,000 miles of water mains. The water mains in Minneapolis could stretch from here to Denver! We take pride in our construction and maintenance practices, which keep our water infrastructure in high working order. Our distribution team routinely performs leak inspections, makes repairs, and cleans and lines our water mains.
The Water Fund
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Last updated Dec 5, 2016