New federal law affects local water systems

This article submitted by Molly Connors on 8/21/96.

Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) on Aug. 6, which requires cities to report studies to their citizens.

The act also replaces out-of-date requirements. Formerly, the EPA was required to come up with several new contamination area to study every three years. According to Paynesville public works director Ron Mergen, this resulted in made-up studies. The new legislation allows the EPAto concentrate on specific contaminant areas.

The SDWAbrings several billion dollars of state revolving funds (SRF) with it. Minnesota has $1 billion per year through 2003.

Water systems, like the city of Paynesville, can use the money for updates and improvements in their technology and equipment.

Paynesville's sewer systems and wastewater treatment ponds are fine, Mergen said. There is some old piping in the city's infrastructure that still has leaded joints. These joints may be a future project for the city.

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