Detroit Lakes Grant
Protecting Our Drinking Water

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Detroit Lakes, in Becker County, has long been active in promoting education about drinking water.  The city supported and sponsored a program called the Children’s Water Festival at two schools and also got involved in Groundwater Guardian, a program of the Groundwater Foundation of Lincoln, Nebraska, that encourages communities to begin and enhance groundwater awareness and protection activities. In 2001, Rossman Elementary School was named a Groundwater Guardian Community by the Groundwater Foundation. Normally, this designation goes to municipalities. Rossman School was the first public school in the nation to be recognized in this manner.

More recently the city purchased and installed wellhead protection signs along the major roads that enter their Drinking Water Supply Management Area (DWSMA), a way to create awareness for residents and visitors.  The signs will provide residents and visitors to the community with a visual awareness that they are entering the DWSMA. 

Detroit Lakes has also been active in finding wells that have not been accounted for within the DWSMA.  The efforts included sending a questionnaire to residents to learn if they have a well on their property and hiring an inspector to locate these wells.  The city has become aware of approximately 240 wells located within the DWMSA and is in the process of marking their location while continuing to seek other unused .

When additional unused wells are located the city will document the property address, owner name, and the unique number of the well if is available on the well; it will also note a GPS reading of its location.  This data will be useful for the management of wells in the DWSMA and allow for a more complete potential contaminant source inventory for the future.

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Updated Thursday, 13-Oct-2011 15:46:09 CDT