March 27, 2018 10:26 PM
The city of Lake Elmo has issued a code red alert due to heightened chemical levels in the water.
According to city officials, the Minnesota Department of Health informed the city about increased perfluorochemical (PFC) levels in city well number one. As a result, that well will be taken offline, along with water tower number one.
The city will increase water pressure at two other wells in order to continue water service.
PFC levels raised concerns in the east metro following a lawsuit filed by the state against 3M. The lawsuit stemmed from 3M-made PFCs the company used in the popular household product Scotchguard until it phased it out in the early 2000s.
The state had sited multiple studies as it prepared to go to trail that the industrial waste containing PFCs the company dumped into four east metro disposal sites for more than 40 years could cause a higher rate of cancer and birth defects among area residents.
Right before the lawsuit went to trial, the Minnesota Department of Health released a report saying researchers could find no link between groundwater contamination and health affects among people living in the east metro.
3M settled with the state, agreeing to pay $850 million as part of the agreement.
The city said residents have also recently been raising concerns about brown water in their homes.
Crews have been flushing hydrants throughout the city to address that problem. Taking the well and water tower offline will also give the city the opportunity to flush the system to help fix that issue. Flushing will begin Wednesday at 8 a.m., and should be finished by noon.
The city said residents should run their water on Wednesday afternoon, using cold water for about 10 minutes until the water clears.
Updated: March 27, 2018 10:26 PM
Created: March 27, 2018 01:57 PM
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