Years After 3M Water Contamination Discovered, East Metro Residents Still Need Water Filters

September 24, 2018 10:25 PM

It's been more than 15 years since water contamination from the 3M site was discovered in the east metro. But even today, the state is still finding new residents who could be at risk.

According to a spokesperson for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, unsafe levels of a group of chemicals called PFCs have been discovered in 951 private wells since 2007. The state has coordinated the installation of more than 600 granular-activated carbon filter systems since then. The water filters cost about $2,000 each and are paid for by 3M as part of the 2007 consent agreement.


But as new wells are continually being identified, those numbers will grow.

Tim Lockrem is a project manager with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

"The process is likely to go on for several more years. We will be sampling areas where we don't know if there's contamination or not," he said.

More from KSTP:

With Water Supply Strapped, Lake Elmo Seeking 3M Settlement Money More Quickly 

Closed Lake Elmo Water Well Had Poor Test Results for 12 Months 

Minnesota's $5B Case Over 3M Chemicals Heads to Trial 

Since this is such a long, evolving process Lockrem also said it's important residents know limited exposure to the water is not harmful.

"It's not like it's toxic if you drink it. This is over a lifetime. So a lifetime of exposure has the potential to have effects," he said.

MPCA has an interactive map that shows where the priority testing is.  You can plug your address in and see if you are close to the testing. You can also request a well test.


Ellen Galles

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