Wellhead Protection Plan (WHPP)
The City of Princeton water system provides safe, clean drinking water to approximately 4500 residents and businesses in Princeton. Princeton's only water source is ground water. The source of this water is three wells that pump water from aquifers that range in depth of 139 feet to 169 feet in the ground. As water is essential for life, protection of this water from contamination is critical.
What is wellhead protection?
Wellhead protection is a means of protecting public water supply wells by preventing contaminants from entering the area that contributes water to the well or well field over a period of time. The wellhead protection area is determined by using geologic and hydrologic criteria, such as the physical characteristics of the aquifer and the effects which pumping has on the rate and direction of groundwater movement. A management plan is developed for the wellhead protection area that includes inventorying potential sources of groundwater contamination, monitoring for the presence of specific contaminants, and managing existing and future land and water uses that pose a threat to groundwater quality.
Why is a wellhead protection plan important?
Over 98 percent of the 9,657 public water supply systems in Minnesota rely completely on groundwater. Because of this, the protection of wells and the aquifers which supply them is an important public health issue. Following a 1986 amendment to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act along with concerns over the impacts that unwise land and water use have on the quality and quantity of groundwater resources prompted the 1989 Minnesota Legislature to pass the Minnesota Groundwater Protection Act (Minnesota Statute 103I). The MDH was designated as the lead agency for administering the state's WHP program. The act provided broad-based support for state and local water resource programs and granted MDH authority to develop a WHP program to protect public water supply wells from contamination.
Drinking water sources are vulnerable to contamination that can cause a community significant expense and threaten public health. Water is a shared resource, and individuals, citizen groups, and local communities can participate in many activities to help protect their drinking water sources.
Click on image to expand aquifer picture.
The Wellhead Protection Plan (below) is required by Minnesota Wellhead Protection Rule and is administered by the Minnesota Department of Health. Princeton Public Utilities is currently in the process of updating it's WHPP.
Princeton Public Utilities flushes hydrants twice per year, typically in April and October. Flushing creates a scouring velocity in the water mains in order to remove any settled material like manganese. It also serves as a fire hydrant function check and inspection. If discolored water is experienced, it is usually temporary and will clear up in a couple of hours. Running the cold water taps should help speed up this process. Contact Princeton Public Utilities if the water does not clear up so additional flushing can be scheduled.
Did you know?
Fire hydrants have over 50 unique parts and require periodic lubrication. They are designed to break off safely in the event they are struck by a car. There are 466 fire hydrants in Princeton!