Delano Municipal Utilities' Water
Delano has four 150 foot deep ground water wells. The hardness of the water
is 64 grains out of the ground. This is higher than average because
most of Delano's water comes from deep aquifers.
The water is treated for iron and
manganese removal by pressure filters at a rate of 5 million gallons per day (mgd). Chlorine is added
to disinfect, fluoride is added for tooth protection, and polyphosphates
are added reducing the hardness to 32 grains.
Delano's 1.5 million gallon storage tank built in 2002 replaced a 495,000 gallon built in 1970. The water distribution system consists of
20 miles of pipe, ranging
from 4" in diameter to 16" with 351 hydrants that are flushed
for maintenance. The utility tests the water at numerous locations every
month to ensure all state and federal water quality standards are met.
Delano's water rates are among the lowest in the metro area.
to download the Public Drinking Water Report (you will need
Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this file).
Groundwater has historically been assumed to be
safe without treatment to kill microorganisms. Layers of soil act as a
natural filter. Removing microbes and other particles as water seeps
Groundwater is pumped from wells drilled into underground water
reservoirs known as aquifers. The water undergoes a natural filtering
process as it trickles through layers of soil and sand particles before
collecting in the aquifers.
Groundwater is more protected from environmental elements than surface
water, meaning it requires fewer treatment and purifying steps. Some
groundwater systems need to add a disinfectant like chlorine; others
(such as those from particularly deep reservoirs) require no further
Safeguarding the Water Supply
Chlorine is the most common means of disinfecting
water in the U.S. The addition of a small amount of chlorine is highly
effective against most bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. But cysts
(durable seed-like stages) formed by parasitic protozoa such as
Cryptosporidium and Giardia can survive chlorine.
Mechanical failure can also lead to contamination. Water treatment
facilities maintain constant water pressure in distribution pipes to
prevent microbes from getting "backwashed" into the distribution system.
Even a momentary lapse in pressure can result in a temporary backflow
that can allow microbial contamination of already treated water.
Source of Pure Water
||Imagine if all the water that
fell onto Delano in a single year stayed right where it landed.
We would be wading through water higher than our waists!
Fortunately, the 41 inches of average precipitation (both rain
and snow) runs into the ponds, the Crow River or into underground
storage areas called aquifers. Aquifers are underground
reservoirs. The water that reaches these chambers is usually
much cleaner than the water of reservoirs at the earth's
surface. Almost no bacteria live in aquifers. Many pollutants
are filtered out as the water passes through the soil on its way
to the aquifer. Unlike surface reservoirs,
there is no silty mud to cloud the water, no pollution from
boaters, and no evaporation of the water supply by the sun.
To tap the groundwater in an
aquifer, wells are dug until they reach the top layer of the
aquifer, the water table. The water table is not flat as its
name makes it seem. It has peaks and valleys that echo the shape
of the land above it. When a lot of water is pumped from an
aquifer, or when there is a dry spell, the water table sinks
Water flowing into recharge areas--land
covered with soil and trees-- refills the aquifer. Bogs and swamps may
absorb and store water that later slowly drains into aquifers. When
recharge areas and wetlands are replaced by parking lots and highways,
less water reaches the aquifer. Oil and road salt from paved roads may
trickle down with rain and snowmelt and pollute an aquifer.
Sometimes an aquifer pops out the side
of a hill as a spring. You can think of a spring as a newborn stream.
Not many animals live in its water because it doesn't yet contain enough
oxygen to support much life. Water mites, scuds or "sideswimmers," black
fly or caddis fly larve, and occasionally beetles, snails, and
salamanders may live in the cold water. Minks, raccoons, deer mice, and
jays use springs as people do, for watering holes.
About seventy percent of the earth's
surface is covered with water. Only one percent is fresh water, flowing
through rivers, lakes, and underground streams. Much of that has already
been polluted by humans. That is why aquifers and springs--natural
sources of clean water-- are so important.
Who's in Charge?
All major water suppliers must comply with state
and federal water safety regulations. (Different regulations apply to
suppliers with fewer than 25 people or 15 connections a year.)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administers and enforces the
two principal federal water safety laws: The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
and the Clean Water Act (CWA).
The Safe Drinking Water Act protects water intended for consumption by
setting standards and rules for levels of various pollutants that can
The Clean Water Act protects the nation's bodies of water, including
rivers, lakes, and coastal zones. The Act regulates the discharge of
pollutants into waters, and includes standards for wastewater (sewage)
This indirectly affects the safety of our drinking water, because the
bulk of treated wastewater is released into rivers or other natural
bodies of water, which in turn are often used as sources for drinking