At the July 19 meeting, City Council voted unanimously to lift the emergency outdoor watering ban effective Tuesday, August 1, contingent on Well Number 10 being fully operational, and successfully passing testing by the Minnesota Department of Health. Watch the meeting online at www.swctc.org

Click on the tab below to read more.

Watering Ban Will Be Lifted August 1

At the July 19 meeting, City Council voted unanimously to lift the emergency outdoor watering ban effective Tuesday, August 1, contingent on Well Number 10 being fully operational, and successfully passing testing by the Minnesota Department of Health. Watch the meeting online at www.swctc.org

Residents and businesses may begin outdoor watering on August 1, following odd/even, time-of-day watering restrictions. Addresses ending in an even number may water on even numbered days, while addresses ending in an odd number may water on odd numbered days. No watering is allowed between noon and 4 p.m. or on the 31st of the month.  The no watering on the 31st is an ordinance change the Council made at their meeting.

The odd/even and time-of-day watering ordinance will be strictly enforced to make sure there is enough water during this peak demand season since we will still be operating with some wells offline. Violation is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine or imprisonment or both. Any resident who believes there is a violation should be directed to call the Police non-emergency number, 651-439-9381, so that action can be taken.

Odd/even and time-of-day watering restrictions are exempt for kids playing in water, filling kiddie pools, hand watering gardens, or washing vehicles. 

Swimming pools may be filled following the odd/even watering restrictions listed above.

All special watering permits that were issued during the watering ban will no longer be valid as of August 1.

After the emergency watering ban is lifted, if for any reason a low water pressure situation would arise, the City would have to put into service wells that are over the new Minnesota Department of Health values to meet the water needs of residents and businesses. If that would happen a notice would be posted on the City’s website and social media accounts.

The Splash Pad will reopen on August 1, with hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

To conserve water, City parks will only be watered two days per week.  All parks north of 80th Street with be watered Monday and Wednesdays. All parks south of 80th Street will be watered Tuesdays and Thursdays. Watering with this schedule will help balance out daily water usage. City fields do have rain sensors; if you see sprinklers running when it is raining please notify Public Works so we can verify the sensor it not malfunctioning. 

Because the City will still have limited water capacity (even when Well Number 10 is back online) residents and businesses are strongly encouraged to continue their water conservation efforts and to water no more than two days a week.


Response to July 19 Pioneer Press Article

The Pioneer Press published a story this morning (July 19) with the headline “3M refuses to pay latest cleanup bill from state.”  (Click here to read online.) The story has sparked conversations among residents regarding who will pay the cost of the temporary water treatment facilities being built in the City.  We, the City of Cottage Grove, will be reimbursed for the costs we have incurred constructing the temporary water treatment facilities per our agreement with the State of Minnesota. The State of Minnesota is responsible to collect from 3M according to the consent decree.  To ensure our water is safe now and into the future, the City intends to hold those responsible for the PFC pollution accountable as we pursue a permanent water treatment solution.

Background

At noon on May 23, a special City Council meeting was held to declare a watering ban in Cottage Grove, effective immediately, due to pumping reduction measures to meet Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) health-based values.  This was done after being informed on May 22 by MDH of the new lower health-based values, and that 8 of the City's 11 wells were above the new values. To remain compliant with the state's new lowered health-based values, the City took 5 wells offline and began blending water from the 3 wells affected by the new limits with other wells. By doing this, the water being provided meets the new MDH health-based values. The watering ban will  ease as additional City wells are brought back online.  This watering ban does not apply to private well owners. The water is safe to drink and meets the new MDH guidelines, the ban is due to capacity issue. Please follow the watering ban to ensure an adequate water supply for all.  Click on the tabs below for more information. Please call Public Works at 651-458-2808 with any questions on the watering ban that are not answered in the FAQ section (below). Please call the Minnesota Department of Health at 651-201-4993, with health related questions.


Weekly Updates from Mayor Bailey

July 25 Video Update

Watch a short watering ban update video message from the Mayor. Click on the image to watch the video.

July 25, 2017 Mayor Bailey Water Ban Video Update


July 17 Video Update

Watch a short watering ban update video message from the Mayor. Click on the image to watch the video.

July 17, 2017 Mayor Bailey Water Ban Update Video


No Update week of July 10

Mayor Bailey was on vacation the week of July 3 so there was no watering ban video taped for the week of July 10.

June 28 Video Update

Watch a short watering ban update video message from the Mayor. Click on the image to watch the video.

 Mayor Bailey Watering Ban Update June 28, 2017

 

June 19 Video Update

Watch a short watering ban update video message from the Mayor. Click on the image to watch the video.

 June 19, 2017 Watering Ban Update with Mayor Bailey

June 19 Mayor's Update in SWC Bulletin

"Cottage Grove is Working to Supply Water to All" update from the Mayor published in South Washington County Bulletin

June 12 Video Update

Watch a short watering ban update video message from the Mayor. Click on the image to watch the video.

Mayor Bailey Watering Ban Update June 12

June 7 Mayor's Update in SWC Bulletin

Read the Mayor's watering ban update published June 7  "Cottage Grove water is safe to drink" (If you get a survey, go to the bottom and choose "skip survey")

May 25 Video Update

Watch a short video message from the Mayor about the temporary water ban. Click on the image to watch the video.

WaterBanMayor.jpg

Rain Barrel Rebate Program

The City is awarding a $20 rebate for a limited number of rain barrels in an effort to increase water conservation and reduce stormwater runoff. Rain barrels can be placed under a roof downspout to collect stormwater runoff that can be used for watering your garden. The rebate will be offered as one-time $20 credit toward applicant’s utility account. This program is available to all property owners in Cottage Grove city limits. If you have any questions, please call 651-458-2884.

Requirements:

  • Applicant must have a utility account with Cottage Grove utilities.
  • Rebate valid only for rain barrels that are at least 40 gallons in size.
  • Limit of 3 rain barrel rebates per utility account.
  • Rain barrels purchased or installed before the start of the rebate program are not eligible. Rain barrels purchased after May 22, 2017 are eligible for a rebate. Rain barrels must be purchased and installed before December 31, 2017.
  • Copies of receipts for rain barrels, materials, and/or convertor kits must be submitted to receive a rebate. If applicant builds own rain barrel or uses a convertor kit, rebate may be used for materials or the convertor kit.
  • A picture of the installed rain barrel must be submitted to be eligible for a rebate.
  • Application must be completed and submitted in its entirety to be eligible for a rebate.
  • Applicant, if selected for random inspection, agrees to allow inspector access to the premises in order to verify installation.
  • Rebates will not exceed the purchase price.
  • Applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis.
  • Return application and required documentation to:
    • Cottage Grove Finance Department, ATTN: Rain Barrel Program, 12800 Ravine Parkway S., Cottage Grove, MN 55016
    • Fax: 651-458-2897
    • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Open the Cottage Grove Rain Barrel Rebate Form (PDF) 

Download the Cottage Grove Rain Barrel Rebate Brochure (PDF)  

Watering Ban FAQs

General Information

  • Cottage Grove City Council declared a water ban on May 23, at noon, effective immediately due to pumping reduction measures to meet Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) health-based values. 
  • On May 22, MDH informed the City of the new lower health-based values, and that 8 of the City's 11 wells were above the new value
  • The City of Cottage Grove’s water is safe to drink and is compliant with all MDH health-based values. The watering ban is due to capacity issue. The watering ban was not declared by MDH.
  • To remain compliant with the state's new lowered health-based values, the City took 5 wells offline. The City began blending water from the 3 wells affected by the new limits with unaffected wells. By doing this, the water being provided meets the new MDH health-based values
  • The ban goes into effect immediately.
  • The ban does not apply to private well owners.
  • The watering ban will ease as additional city wells are brought back online. 
  • Please be patient as the City works to notify all residents and businesses of the watering ban. Please help by letting your neighbors know if you notice they are watering.  When Public Works, Public Safety and Parks Department staff see a outdoor water use at a residence, an educational notice about the ban will be placed on their door.
  • Please follow the watering ban to ensure an adequate water supply for all.

What happens if someone violates the watering ban?

  • For this watering ban, the City is following City Code 8-1-9A Water Conservation-Emergency Regulations: The Mayor or assigned designee may impose emergency water usage regulations by limiting the times and hours, or completely prohibiting water use of the city's water system for sprinkling lawns, landscaping and gardens, irrigation, and other uses. The Mayor or assigned designee must give notice by publication or by posting in the city hall and other public places.
  • Violation of the watering ban:
    • First, the City will educate with informational door hangers
    • Second, the City will issue a warning
    • Last, the City will issue a citation.  The citation has a mandatory court appearance and is a misdemeanor offense with a penalty of up to a $1,000 fine and/or up to 90 days in jail.

How do I report a violation of the watering ban?

  • Please call the police non-emergency number at 651-439-9381 and they can send someone out to check on the reported violated.

How long is the watering ban?

  • The earliest the City expects the restrictions to ease is July
  • As more City wells are brought back online, the ban will be eased
  • Information will be posted here and on the City's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/CottageGroveMinnesota/) when the ban is lifted
  • Work on the temporary treatment facility for well 10 is underway. This is typically a process that takes many months but has been accelerated as we aim to bring well 10 back online the week of July 24; that may help ease the watering restrictions.

Why is there a watering ban if my water is safe to drink?

  • The ban is due to less water being available (capacity), not because the water is unsafe
  • MDH lowered the exposure limits for two chemicals (PFOA and PFOS) that have historically been in East Metro water
  • In response to the new lowered limits, some City wells had some trace of chemical
  • The City shut down some of its wells to remain in compliance with the new levels
  • The City is blending water from clear wells with those to make sure city water is safe and meets the new MDH health values
  • The City is supplying water out of 3 of its 11 wells
  • With fewer wells online, less water is available, leading to the watering ban
  • City staff are working on getting temporary filtration systems installed on the wells
  • As additional wells are returned to service the watering restrictions will be reduced

What is included in the watering ban?

  • Please do not use your sprinklers and hoses (outdoor water) for watering lawns, gardens, landscaping, washing cars, irrigation systems and any other non-essential exterior use.  Please do not fill swimming pools.
  • An idea for water for gardens, landscapes, etc.: 
    • Use a shower bucket and instead of letting the water pour down the drain, stick a bucket under the faucet while you wait for your shower water to heat up. You can use the water for watering your plants and landscaping.
    • Re-use your pasta cooking liquid. Instead of dumping that water down the drain, try draining your pasta water into a large pot. Once it cools, you can use it to water your plants. Just make sure you wait, because if you dump that boiling water on your plants, you might harm them.
  • More water conservation tips can be found at http://www.care2.com/greenliving/20-ways-to-conserve-water-at-home.html

Can I water my new sod or new tree?

  • Call Public Works at 651-458-2808.  They may be able to issue you a permit to water your new sod and trees.

How do I get a permit to water my new sod or tree?

  • Call Public Works at 651-458-2808, or stop at the Public Works Building located at 8635 West Point Douglas Road, Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

Permitted outdoor water use

  • New Sod (less than one year)
  • New Seed (less than one year)
  • New Trees (less than three years)
  • Construction sites

Permits are issued by Public Works.

If you see watering taking place

If you see residents and businesses watering, please keep in mind they may have received a permit from Public Works due to new sod, seed, or trees.

  • Businesses and construction sites that have received permits:
    • TCF Bank - new sod from East Point Douglas Road and 80th Street project
    • Chipotle/Noodles/AT&T - new sod from East Point Douglas Road and 80th Street project
    • Gardenworld - new sod/landscaping/seeding that was placed late last fall and still getting established
    • Cub Foods - Site work currently underway
    • Hy-Vee - site work currently underway
    • Summers Landing HOA - new seeding/landscaping in HOA outlots that was placed late last fall
    • Pavement Management area is being watered by Public Works with a watering truck using water not from municipal water system
    • Jamaica and 70th Street roundabout - irrigation running on landscaping that was installed late last fall
    • Hadley and 95th Street roundabout - irrigation running on landscaping that was installed late last fall
    • 80th Street Quadrant project (80th Street and Hadley Avenue) - irrigation running on landscaping that was installed late last fall
  • City parks
    • At Highlands Park - hundreds of trees were planted for the annual Arbor Day event and these trees have bags on them.
    • Lamar Park - limited watering is taking place using a private well
    • Kingston Park - on June 15, the irrigation system was turned on long enough to mark the sprinkler heads in preparation for the tent stakes for the Strawberry Fest Market Place
    • Garden outside City Hall - volunteers from the Pineridge Garden Club are bringing in non-municipal water to water the garden.

If you wish to report a violation, please call the police non-emergency number at 651-439-9381 and they can send someone out to check.

Can I hand water by garden?

  • Yes, you can hand water your garden; please don't use your outdoor hoses or sprinklers.

Can I use my automatic sprinkler system?

  • No, please make sure you shut down your automatic sprinkler system

What do I do if my water is discolored?

  • The City has received some reports of discolored water. The discolored water coming from water softeners, pipes in homes, or sediment from various pipes as pressure in the pipes fluctuates.
  • To clear it, open and run all your cold water taps, especially in your laundry room and tubs until the water runs clear.  It may take 15-20 minutes.  Avoid using hot/warm water until the water runs clear.  Any problems or issues, please call Public Works at 651-458-2808.

Does the City have rain barrels available?

Where can I purchase bulk water?

Does the watering ban affect private wells?

  • No, the ban is only for water from city wells
  • Private well owners will receive a letter directly from MDH regarding the levels of the chemicals in their wells and plan of action
  • Private well owners should call PCA with questions. 651-296-6300

Is the Splash Pad open?

  • No, the Splash Pad at Highlands Park will remain closed until the watering ban is lifted

Where can I find pools, beaches and splash pads near Cottage Grove?

North
Woodbury Splash Pad:
HealthEast (formerly Bielenberg) Sports Center,
4125 Radio Drive, Woodbury
Open 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Free

Battle Creek Aquatic Center
(651) 501-6340
2401 Upper Afton Rd, Maplewood, MN
(in Battle Creek Regional Park)
Families w/children ages 10 and under
Open 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Adults & Children: $7
5-8 pm: $5
Tues & Thurs between 9:30 and 10:30: $2.50
Tues & Thurs later: $7
Under 12 months: Free

Northeast
Afton State Park
8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Swimming Beach, ½-mile walk from parking areas.
No lifeguard is on duty
Free

Lake Elmo Park Beach
1515 Keats Ave N, Lake Elmo
7 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Northwest
Como Regional Park Pool
1151 Wynne Ave, St Paul, MN 55108
(651) 489-0378
Mon-Fri: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m
Sat-Sun: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Under 48": $6
Over 48": $7
Family of 5: $24

Great River Water Park
270 Lexington Pkwy N, St Paul, MN
(651) 642-0650
Fri: 10:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
4-8:30 p.m.
Sat: 12:30-7 p.m.
Sun: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Mon: 10:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
4-8:30 p.m.
Tues: Closed
Weds:10:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
4-8:30 p.m
Thurs: Closed
Under 48": $6
Over 48": $7
Family of 5: $24

East
St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park Beach
10191 St Croix Trail S, Hastings, MN
9 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Southeast
Point Douglas Park Beach
U.S. Highway 10 Bridge
7 a.m. – 30 minutes after Sunset

Prescott, WI City Beach
City Beach
Along the St. Croix River, off of Lake Street,
north of the U.S. Highway 10 bridge.
Free

Hastings Family Aquatic Center
(651) 480-2392
901 Maple St, Hastings
Open Fri-Mon, 12-8 p.m.; Tues-Thurs 12-7:30 p.m.
Free for under 12 months;
Under 42": $5.75 Day, $5 after 5:00 p.m
Over 42": $5.75 day; $5 after 5:00 p.m.
Tues & Thurs: $5

West
South St. Paul Northview Pool
1800 Thompson Ave.
651-554-3344
1 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
$3.50/day
$2.00 ages 55+
Infants Free

South St. Paul Splash Pool at Lorraine Park
4th Ave. & 7th St. So.
651-554-3343
Every day: 12:30-7:00 p.m.
Toddler Time (adults w/ children under 4):
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
$3.50/day
$2.00 ages 55+
Infants Free
Mon-Fri Toddler Time - $2/person

South St. Paul Central Square Indoor Pool
100 - 7th Ave. N
651-366-6200
Every day: 12:00-3:00 p.m.; Friday 6:00-8:00 p.m.
$3.50/day
$2.00 ages 55+

Inver Grove Heights Indoor Water Park
The Grove Aquatic and Fitness Center
8055 Barbara Ave E Inver Grove Heights, MN 55077
651-450-2480
Hours:
Quiet Time (no water features):
9-11 a.m.
Regular hours (with water features):
Mon-Fri 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Sat-Sun: 12-6:30 p.m.
$8/person; $25/family of 4
5:30-7:30 p.m. $5/person
Morning Quiet Time: $3/person
Observer (non-swimmer): $4/person
12 months and younger: Free

Download the list (PDF) 

Why are car washes allowed to remain open?

  • The City is monitoring water usage by car washes as the City does not want to shut down any businesses.

Why is River Oaks Golf Course watering?

  • The water used to water the greens is surface (from the pond) and well water at River Oaks Golf Course

What happens after the watering ban is lifted?

  • Even after these restrictions are lifted, the odd/even and time of day watering restrictions will remain in place.

Who do I call with questions on the watering ban?

  • Please read all of the FAQs as your question may be answered
  • If it’s not answered, please call Public Works at 651-458-2808
  • Please be patient as the City works to notify all residents and businesses of the watering ban
  • If you notice your neighbors watering, please help by letting them know about the ban
  • When Public Works, Public Safety and Parks Department staff see outdoor water use, a notice about the ban will be given

Who do I contact with questions or concerns about the safety of the water?

  • Please contact Doug Schultz, Minnesota Department of Health, 651-201-4993

Where can I get more information about the chemicals in my water?

Affected Wells/Filtration System

  • The City is only operating 3 wells at full capacity, and another 3 at limited capacity.
  • The new lowered health-based values from MDH meant 8 out of 11 wells in Cottage Grove were above the new values
  • To remain compliant with the state's new lowered health-based values, the City took 5 wells offline.
  • The City began blending water from the 3 wells affected by the new limits with other wells.
  • By doing this, the water being provided meets the new MDH health-based values
  • Work is being done to restore the water capacity needed to meet everyone's indoor and outdoor water needs
  • The first temporary water filtration system will be built at Well Number 10
    • Timeline: Design work, May 30
    • Tree removal: June 1
    • Excavations: June 7 to 8
    • Footings and foundation: June 13 to June 26
    • Set treatment tanks: June 27 to 28
    • Process piping: June 29 to July 14
    • Carbon placement: July 17 to 21
    • Startup and testing: July 24 to 28
    • Enclosure, mechanical, and electrical: completed by mid-November
  • The City Council will discuss ending the watering ban at their July 19 City Council meeting, 7 p.m. at City Hall. Attend the meeting or watch online at www.swctc.org.
  • A water treatment facility like this typically takes six months to one year to be up and running
  • A second, smaller temporary water treatment filtration system will be built at Well Number 3
    • Timeline: Design work: May 30
    • Tree removal: June 20
    • Excavations: June 21 and 22
    • Footings and foundations: June 26 to July 10
    • Set treatment tanks: July 17 to 18
    • Process piping: July 18 to Aug. 4
    • Carbon placement: Aug. 7 to 11
    • Startup and testing: Aug. 14 to 18
    • Enclosure, mechanical, and electrical: completed by mid-December
  • Click on the image to view the temporary water treatment facility at Well Number 10

06-2017-Temporary Treatment Plant.jpg

City Water Supply Meeting Presentation Video

Watch a video of the presentation from the City made during the public meeting held June 21, 2017 at City Hall. (About 19 minutes)

City Presentation on June 21, 2017

View the Q&A portion of that followed the presentation here.

MDH Water Meeting Video

Watch a video of the presentation from the Minnesota Department of Health made during the public meeting held June 7, 2017 at City Hall. (About 1 hour 45 minutes)


Letter to residents

Read the letter from Mayor Bailey being mailed to every household in Cottage Grove.

We apologize that some residents received an empty envelope. In order to get letters to households as quickly as possible, the 11,0000 letters were produced and stuffed by City staff using an automatic folder/envelope sealer machine at City Hall. Unfortunately, some of the envelopes stuck together and while staff did their best to keep track of them and pull them out of the mailing bin, some did get mailed out empty. If you'd like another one mailed to you please contact City Hall.

More Information

Read news release from City of City of Cottage Grove

Read news release from Minnesota Department of Health on the new updated health values

Read June 7, 2017 letter of notice to City from Minnesota Department of Health  

For more information about PFCs and your health, please visit Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) in Minnesota

For more information on the health-based guidance, please refer to the Human Health-Based Water Guidance Table

Any other questions, please contact the Minnesota Department of Health.

 

Visit an interactive map to view the well sampling areas: http://mpca.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=ff4e56d9b6184ddaa297d1161784a884

 

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