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Eagle River Looks to Protect City Water Supply


Protection for the three active Eagle River municipal wells as well as a planned fourth well was approved by the city council recently with the adoption of a wellhead protection ordinance.

Wellhead protection areas are determined by hydrologic studies based on an area surrounding a well where groundwater takes five years or less to travel from the land surface to the pumping well.

City utility manager Mike Sanborn indicated their plan will be presented to the DNR for their approval. “After we get DNR approval we'll contact the town of Lincoln and ask for a joint meeting since the areas where certain activities are prohibited are often in their jurisdiction,” Sanborn said. “We would hope for cooperation and not have to use the cities extraterritorial zoning authority.”

The plan calls for minimum separation from certain activities within the wellhead protection area. There is a list of over a dozen prohibited uses including activties such as a junk yard, foundaries, dry cleaners, mining of any kind, and private on-site waste treatment systems or holding tanks receiving 12,000 gallons per day or more.

Other activities have minimum setback requirements such as 200 feet from sanitary manholes and lift stations, 300 feet from underground storage tanks, 400 feet from a cemetary, and more.

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