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McCarrons Water Treatment Plant to open for public tours

Facility one of three water utilities in the country to maintain the
10-year Directors Award from the Partnership for Safe Water

Maplewood, Minn. May 14, 2009: Saint Paul Regional Water Services will host an open house from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, at its McCarrons Center facilities in Maplewood.

McCarrons Water Treatment Plant received a national award for maintaining the Directors Award of recognition from the Partnership for Safe Water for 10 years in May of 2008, a feat accomplished by only three other water utilities in the country at the time.

“Maintaining Directors Award status for ten years demonstrates our philosophy of constant vigilance to improve water quality,” said Steve Schneider, general manager.

The public is welcome to tour the award-winning treatment facility during the open house.
The event is free and, in addition to the guided tours, will feature give-a-ways and light refreshments.
The one-hour tour will give visitors a close-up view of how the water is treated, filtered, and pumped into the distribution system.

“The tours have been very popular throughout the years—most people are fascinated by what they see here,” said Jim Graupmann, manager, production division. “Few people have any idea of how their water is treated and actually gets to their home. This is an opportunity for people to see a process that is normally taken for granted.”

The walking tour will cover about one-half of a mile and require the ability to navigate stairs. Sturdy walking shoes are recommended. An adult must accompany all youths younger than the eighth grade level on the tour.

“We continue to invest in our facilities so that we are able to make improvements,” said Schneider. The most recent enrichment is the completion of the Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filtration system. According to Schneider, the new filtering system helps alleviate the occasional taste and odor episodes with the utility’s water as well as improves overall filtering capability. The seasonal taste and odor complaints dropped by 92 percent between 2006 and 2007 after the GAC filtration system was implemented.

McCarrons Center is located at 1900 Rice Street, just north of Larpenteur Avenue. Prominent signs for SPRWS and the open house will be located along Rice Street near the entrance. The public can also enter on Sylvan Street from Larpenteur Avenue. Free parking will be available in the utility’s parking lot next to the administration building.

There is no public access to the treatment plant, and to participate in the tours, visitors must first register in the administration building. The last tour begins at 5:30 p.m.

For further information, please call the SPRWS Customer Service office at 651-266-6350.

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