The White Bear Township board approved a $439,500 contract with Municipal Builders at its March 2 meeting to improve the township’s water management system.

Manganese is a naturally occurring element in White Bear Township’s water. At low levels, it can stain laundry. Deposits of precipitated manganese can collect in pipelines and tap water may subsequently contain black sediment and turbidity. High exposure to manganese has been associated with a nervous disorder similar to Parkinson’s disease. Drinking water with high manganese levels is not recommended for pregnant women or children.

The project involves well nos. 1, 4 and 5. Board members stressed that the work has nothing to do with Water Gremlin but will be undertaken to maintain water quality. Well No. 1 will be modified for increased safety, Well No. 4 will see an increase in capacity and Well No. 5 will receive new controls and other improvements. The also includes some routine maintenance.

Noting that the Minnesota Department of Health will be issuing new manganese guidelines soon, the board said the project couldn’t be “put on the back burner.” Work is expected to be completed by the end of May in time for peak summer demand.

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