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Pilot Test to be done at Fulda Water Treatment Plant

December 6, 2012

By Norma Dittman
In October, Mark Oberhelman, Product Development Manager for Hawkins, Inc., Brian McGee, Branch Manager for Hawkins, Inc., and Jeff Dale, Minnesota Rural Water, were in Fulda to determine a treatment plan that would balance Fulda’s water for a more aesthetic appeal of the water to Fulda consumers.

At that time, the chemists worked with a four-jar test to analyze the amount of potassium permanganate that was needed to balance the high iron and manganese contents in the water.

During the October testing of the water, Oberhelman and Dale had discussed the possibility that the water filtration media at the treatment plant may be in need of replacement. It has been in place in the treatment plant for 21 years. Typically, the life of the media is not usually more than ten to fifteen years, according to Dale.

On Thursday of this past week, Dale and John M. Graupman, Principal Engineer with Bolton and Menk, Mankato, MN, returned to Fulda for a meeting with Mayor Greg Ommen, City Council members Ron Kellen and Chuck Lursen, City Clerk Michelle Baumhoefner, and Butch Huerkamp who oversees the water treatment plant.

“When we did the jar testing in October, we had good results for a couple of days with treating the water with potassium permanganate,” Dale stated at Thursday’s meeting. “We want you to understand that water in this area is typically high in iron and high in manganese. There is nothing wrong with the new well that was recently drilled or your other water supply. The fact is that the media in the filter at the treatment plant is no longer effective due to the fact that, over time, media does get dirty and does need to be replaced.”

Dale and Graupman proposed that a pilot study be done by Bolton and Menk. The study will involve hiring Bolton and Menk to arrive in Fulda with a fully equipped water filtration media testing trailer. The trailer contains a series of three or four clear plastic testing filters which use different medias to filter the water. “By doing the pilot study, we will know which media will be the best one to use for Fulda’s water supply,” Graupman explained.

The Bolton-Menk trailer requires a connection to raw water prior to it entering the city filtration system. Also required is a 220 volt electrical hookup.

“The pilot study should be done first before jumping to the conclusion that a new water treatment facility is needed. It is a cheap insurance policy,” Dale commented.

At Monday evening’s Fulda City Council meeting, hiring of the Bolton and Menk testing trailer for the pilot study was approved at a cost of no more than $7,000.00.

Bolton and Menk will begin testing medias this week.

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