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About Our Water
Water Treatment
Water from the Rainy River has the following unusual characteristics which present difficulties in water treatment.
  • Daily and seasonal quality changes
  • High color levels
  • Low alkalinity (buffering capacity)
  • Low turbidity
  • Soft (low calcium and magnesium hardness)

Available treatment technologies were reviewed and after careful pilot scale treatment studies were conducted at the paper mill and Fort Frances water plants, direct filtration was selected as the treatment method.

The treatment facility design intentionally included flexibility in operations and treatment schemes to allow the city to deal with future drinking water regulation changes.

The river water is highly colored (tea color) from the presence of decaying vegetation (organic material). Color levels usually rise during spring and fall rainfall periods, and drop during winter conditions.

Turbidity is a measure of the clarity of the water. Color in the water does not significantly affect the turbidity of the water. Turbidity increases during non ice cover periods and decreases during the winter.

Adding treatment chemicals to remove color increase the turbidity of the water during treatment. The turbidity is removed by chemical treatment and two-stage filtration.

The raw water is corrosive because of the lack of hardness and alkalinity. The treatment process includes adding chemicals to increase the alkalinity and to provide a protective coating on the inside of the water main piping to help protect the piping from corrosion.

For More Information
For more information, call the Water Plant at (218) 283-2990.