Water chlorination in Oak Park Heights planned through summer

Oak Park Heights will begin chlorinating its water on Monday, May 15, and expects to continue chlorination through October.

The practice is a precautionary measure after tests found coliform bacteria in the city’s water system for the second time this year.

“Coliform bacteria is only an indicator for other potentially harmful bacteria, like E. coli,” public works director Andy Kegley said. “No E. coli was found, so the water is safe to drink.”

Many cities, including Stillwater, regularly add a small amount of chlorine to their water to kill bacteria, but Oak Park Heights does not, in order to preserve “a more natural water condition and taste.”

The city believes recent construction-related activity associated with water connections has broadened the chances for the introduction of coliform bacteria into the city’s water system. As a result, the city will chlorinate through the end of the construction season and reassess the need to chlorinate in October.

Chlorine can affect smell and taste of water, especially when consumers are not used to such treated water. Despite the possible odor, the city says it conducts daily testing to ensure chlorine levels are within state health standards.

Residents and businesses with questions may call Andy Kegley, public works director, at 651-439-4439.