As public drinking water utilities across the nation recognize this week as “Drinking Water Week,” the City of Minneapolis reaches another milestone in its long history of delivering safe drinking water with the completion of the rehabilitation of its Fridley Filtration Plant.
While much of the building and tank infrastructure from the 1920s-era plant remained in good condition approaching 2020, Minneapolis Water Treatment & Distribution Services initiated a large-scale capital improvement project to upgrade and modernize its filtration system. The $66 million project enhances the filtration system by reconstructing interior filter components, adding granular activated carbon filter media, and replacing nearly all the pipes and valves serving the filters. The project also includes a new and improved backwash supply system and replaces the obsolete filter backwash water recovery system.
“Minneapolis Water is proud to have been reliably supplying our city with drinking water for over 150 years,” said Annika Bankston, director of Minneapolis Water Treatment & Distribution Services. “Rehabilitating our 100-year old Fridley Filtration Plant demonstrates our commitment to serve as effective stewards of public resources by keeping well-maintained infrastructure in place while modernizing piping, valves, mechanical and control systems. This plant ensures we will continue to meet our commitment to provide safe, high-quality drinking water for the next 100 years.”
Effective filtration removes microbes that could otherwise cause waterborne illness. The upgrades also enable the plant to address taste and odor concerns and reduce the levels of many emerging contaminants that are being considered for future federal environmental regulation. The plant can treat as much as 135 million gallons of water per day for the city and its water customers.
The City of Minneapolis’ Fridley Filter Plant is located on the east bank of the Mississippi River just north of the city limits. The Mississippi serves as the source of drinking water for the City of Minneapolis. Drinking water is distributed to residents of Minneapolis, Bloomington, Columbia Heights, Crystal, Golden Valley, New Hope, a small part of Edina, Hilltop, Fort Snelling, and travelers at the MSP Airport.
The City utilized a combination of funding tools to make this rehabilitation project possible: a low interest loan from the Minnesota Drinking Water Revolving Fund, general obligation bonds, and rate revenue from water customers.