City Council OKs letter on water quality

The New Prague City Council at its Monday, Nov. 20, meeting unanimously approved a letter that was recommended by the Minnesota Environmental Science and Economic Review Board (MESSERB). The letter is concerning proposed changes by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) that could cost cities a large amount of money to update their water treatment systems.

MESSERB is an organization of Greater Minnesota communities working together to ensure that wastewater treatment regulations are reasonable and based on sound science. Public Works Director Glen Sticha explained that the MPCA’s proposal, the Wild Rice Sulfate Water Quality Rule, is to control the amount of sulfate that comes out of wastewater treatment plants and to protect wild rice. While MESSERB feels the new rule is important to look at, it believes the rule is neither reasonable nor ready for adoption. It was noted the science being used is so new that the MPCA is using overly conservative assumptions, which leads to a standard that is more restrictive than is necessary to protect wild rice.

Sticha was surprised to find that 60 miles from the city’s wastewater facility is a proposed wild rice water body. He noted that by the time water from the city’s facility reached the body of water it would have mixed quite a bit with other water.

Currently the only technology available to treat...

To see more on this story pick up the November 23, 2017 print edition of The New Prague Times.