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Verndale water is safe to drink

Verndale’s water supply is safe to drink and city officials continue to look into what went wrong with a back-up system that was designed to activate a second well when the first one malfunctioned, and the water tower subsequently ran dry Friday morning.

The all-clear was issued Saturday after the system was re-pressurized and tested for satisfactory chlorine residual levels and a 24-hour colilert analysis was run. According to a statement issued Saturday by Jon Groethe, a Minnesota Department of Health engineer, all collected samples were analyzed and determined to be free of bacteriological contamination.

“The water is safe to drink and safe for all other uses as well,” Groethe said in a statement.

Mayor Ardith Carr said Friday that because the water tower ran dry, health department protocol called for the water ban and testing after a 24-hour period.

City Clerk Dawn Nelson said Tuesday the city is still looking into what happened with the water system’s back-up safeguards and emergency notification system. Currently, maintenance staff and firefighters are checking water levels at the water tower.

“I know it was a huge inconvenience to the two restaurants in town as well as the residents, Nelson said Tuesday.

Friday’s water problems resulted in the Verndale Public School being let out early Friday.

The health department’s collected samples included the school’s kitchen facilities.

Mike O'Rourke
Mike O'Rourke began his career at the Brainerd Dispatch in 1978 as a general assignment reporter. He was named city editor in 1981 and associate editor in 1999. He covers politics and writes features and editorials.
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