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BPU: Water levels receding

The Brainerd Public Utilities Commission reported Tuesday water levels are going down at the city-owned dam at the Mississippi River at the former Potlatch site.

The Brainerd Public Utilities Commission reported Tuesday water levels are going down at the city-owned dam at the Mississippi River at the former Potlatch site.

Water levels on the river, which had been at record levels with the nearly 10-inch rainfall received in the area July 11, are coming down according to Superintendent of Utilities Scott Magnuson. Originally they decided to put some sand bags in place, concerned that the water would reach the doors at the hydro dam. However, the water never came up quite that high.

Rumors had been spread among surrounding community members questioning whether or not all the dam gates were shut and water was being held back. A representative from Severn Trent, a water management service, called in with their concerns on this matter. Magnuson put those fears to rest explaining that they were not holding water back and all gates were open. They keep the water level at 1,182.2 feet headwater gauge height, which is regulation.

In fact, there was an inspection by the state of Minnesota recently. He noted that the inspector "liked how the water was reacting," said Magnuson. "He got to see a lot of water over the dam though."

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Magnuson also gave a water report mentioning how there had been one recent break located but the overall filtration of the plant was good. Several small projects are being completed such as fixing gate valves, flushing, work on the booster and lift stations. They are also working on some projects east and west of Mill Avenue.

Reports from the electrical department said that there are no current outages in Brainerd. They actually had two crews out helping Crow Wing Power up in Hackensack that came back Monday. They had one fuse blow and one fuse fail last week.

Mike Higgins, owner of Brainerd Industrial Center, was in attendance to thank the commission for incentives provided to rent out locations in his building. Higgins told commission members that he has some great potential renters lined up who would be big power users but he didn't want to go public with names just yet.

Magnuson reported that Graycon Building Group, an infrastructure consulting team, is coming soon to look at site access and what is under the water there. They wanted the water as high as possible when they do their testing so they picked a great time to test.

TAMARA HORTON may be reached at 218-855-5882 or tamara.horton@brainerddispatch.com .

Related Topics: BRAINERD
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