Potential Health Effects and Corrective Actions (If Applicable)
Copper: During the year, we failed to provide lead results to persons served at the sites that were tested as required by the Lead and Copper Rule during the timeframe allowed
Lead: During the year, we failed to provide lead results to persons served at the sites that were tested as required by the Lead and Copper Rule during the timeframe allowed
Some People Are More Vulnerable to Contaminants in Drinking Water
Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. The developing fetus and therefore pregnant women may also be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water. These people or their caregivers should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1‑800‑426‑4791.
Learn More about Your Drinking Water
Drinking Water Sources
Minnesota’s primary drinking water sources are groundwater and surface water. Groundwater is the water found in aquifers beneath the surface of the land. Groundwater supplies 75 percent of Minnesota’s drinking water. Surface water is the water in lakes, rivers, and streams above the surface of the land. Surface water supplies 25 percent of Minnesota’s drinking water.
Contaminants can get in drinking water sources from the natural environment and from people’s daily activities. There are five main types of contaminants in drinking water sources.
- Microbial contaminants, such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Sources include sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, pets, and wildlife.
- Inorganic contaminants include salts and metals from natural sources (e.g. rock and soil), oil and gas production, mining and farming operations, urban stormwater runoff, and wastewater discharges.
- Pesticides and herbicides are chemicals used to reduce or kill unwanted plants and pests. Sources include agriculture, urban stormwater runoff, and commercial and residential properties.
- Organic chemical contaminants include synthetic and volatile organic compounds. Sources include industrial processes and petroleum production, gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic systems.
- Radioactive contaminants such as radium, thorium, and uranium isotopes come from natural sources (e.g. radon gas from soils and rock), mining operations, and oil and gas production.
The Minnesota Department of Health provides information about your drinking water source(s) in a source water assessment, including:
- How Wabasha is protecting your drinking water source(s);
- Nearby threats to your drinking water sources;
- How easily water and pollution can move from the surface of the land into drinking water sources, based on natural geology and the way wells are constructed.
Find your source water assessment at Source Water Assessments or call 651-201-4700 or 1-800-818-9318 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Lead in Drinking Water
You may be in contact with lead through paint, water, dust, soil, food, hobbies, or your job. Coming in contact with lead can cause serious health problems for everyone. There is no safe level of lead. Babies, children under six years, and pregnant women are at the highest risk.
Lead is rarely in a drinking water source, but it can get in your drinking water as it passes through lead service lines and your household plumbing system. Wabasha provides high quality drinking water, but it cannot control the plumbing materials used in private buildings.
Read below to learn how you can protect yourself from lead in drinking water.
- Let the water run for 30-60 seconds before using it for drinking or cooking if the water has not been turned on in over six hours. If you have a lead service line, you may need to let the water run longer. A service line is the underground pipe that brings water from the main water pipe under the street to your home.
- You can find out if you have a lead service line by contacting your public water system, or you can check by following the steps at: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/06/24/npr-find-lead-pipes-in-your-home
- The only way to know if lead has been reduced by letting it run is to check with a test. If letting the water run does not reduce lead, consider other options to reduce your exposure.
- Use cold water for drinking, making food, and making baby formula. Hot water releases more lead from pipes than cold water.
- Test your water. In most cases, letting the water run and using cold water for drinking and cooking should keep lead levels low in your drinking water. If you are still concerned about lead, arrange with a laboratory to test your tap water. Testing your water is important if young children or pregnant women drink your tap water.
- Contact a Minnesota Department of Health accredited laboratory to get a sample container and instructions on how to submit a sample:Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (https://eldo.web.health.state.mn.us/public/accreditedlabs/labsearch.seam)
- The Minnesota Department of Health can help you understand your test results.
- Treat your water if a test shows your water has high levels of lead after you let the water run.
- Read about water treatment units: Point-of-Use Water Treatment Units for Lead Reduction (https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/water/factsheet/poulead.html)
Help Protect Our Most Precious Resource – Water
The Value of Water
Drinking water is a precious resource, yet we often take it for granted.
Throughout history, civilizations have risen and fallen based on access to a plentiful, safe water supply. That’s still the case today. Water is key to healthy people and healthy communities.
Water is also vital to our economy. We need water for manufacturing, agriculture, energy production, and more. One-fifth of the U.S. economy would come to a stop without a reliable and clean source of water.
Systems are in place to provide you with safe drinking water. The state of Minnesota and local water systems work to protect drinking water sources. For example, we might work to seal an unused well to prevent contamination of the groundwater. We treat water to remove harmful contaminants. And we do extensive testing to ensure the safety of drinking water.
If we detect a problem, we take corrective action and notify the public. Water from a public water system like yours is tested more thoroughly and regulated more closely than water from any other source, including bottled water.
Conservation is essential, even in the land of 10,000 lakes. For example, in parts of the metropolitan area, groundwater is being used faster than it can be replaced. Some agricultural regions in Minnesota are vulnerable to drought, which can affect crop yields and municipal water supplies.
We must use our water wisely. Below are some tips to help you and your family conserve – and save money in the process.Fix running toilets—they can waste hundreds of gallons of water.
- Turn off the tap while shaving or brushing your teeth.
- Shower instead of bathe. Bathing uses more water than showering, on average.
- Only run full loads of laundry, and set the washing machine to the correct water level.
- Only run the dishwasher when it’s full.
- Use water-efficient appliances (look for the WaterSense label).
- Use water-friendly landscaping, such as native plants.
- When you do water your yard, water slowly, deeply, and less frequently. Water early in the morning and close to the ground.
- Learn more
- Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Conserving Water webpage (https://www.pca.state.mn.us/living-green/conserving-water)
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense webpage (https://www.epa.gov/watersense)