A plan which took the city of Winnebago several years to complete is finally being sent off to the State of Minnesota for approval.
The city was required by the Minnesota Department of Health to formulate the Wellhead Protection Plan which would identify any areas that might effect drinking water within the city.
A draft of the plan was approved at the October council meeting. After creating a draft of the plan, they were required to hold a public hearing for feedback.
A part of Winnebago’s Wellhead Protection Plan, a map was created to show multiple things involved in the plan. The yellow line represents the overall drinking water supply area. The light blue circle is the wellhead protection area, it would take 10 years for the groundwater to affect that whole area. The red circle in the center of the map is the emergency response area which would take only one year to be affected by any contaminated water.
Rick Mauris, water department operator, who has been working with the Department of Health was present at the hearing which was held last Tuesday.
"We want to show three things with this plan,"?Mauris explains. "Those are understanding where water comes from, how vulnerable it is and how we should manage it."
A map, showing the plan's research, was presented with the draft. The map shows the wellhead management zone, the emergency response area and the drinking water supply area.
"This map was calculated by a computer model used to simulate ground water movement to see how long it would take for contaminated water to effect the drinking water,"?Mauris says.
The map shows the emergency response zone which is the area that would take one year for water to be affected, and the wellhead management zone which is the area that would take ten years for the drinking water to be affected.
"We've covered a ton of areas and found private wells and industrial wells which are high risks to our supply,"?he says.
He adds that even though the plan has been drafted, this will be a continuing investigation.
"A lot of homework has to go into this plan,"?Mauris says.
Now the plan will be sent to the Minnesota Department of Health for approval.
"It will take 90 days for them to review it,"?city administrator Chris Ziegler says.
Mauris has been working with Terry Bove, Minnesota Department of Health planner who works out of the Mankato office.
"I'm confident the plan will be approved,"?he says.