Announcement – Greg Drent Appointed Interim Utilities Manager
The Commission unanimously appointed Mr. Greg Drent as the new interim SPU Utilities Manager at the second regular meeting in November 2020. Mr. Larry Koshire, who served as SPU’s interim manager following Mr. Crooks retirement, resigned for health reasons.
Mr. Drent joined SPU as Electric Superintendent in July 2016. He was previously employed with the City of LeSueur for twenty years. Over the course of his tenure, he was an apprentice lineman who advanced to line foreman before becoming the Electric Director for seven-plus years. In 2015 LeSueur restructured the organization and Mr. Drent was promoted to Public Services Director where he was responsible for the Electric, Water, Wastewater and Street departments. He also served on the board of directors for MMPA (Minnesota Municipal Power Agency) for nine years. Greg currently lives in LeSueur with his wife and three children Lincoln, Dominic and Alivia.
MN Dept of Health – Statement on Water Safety
Per Tannie Eshenaur, Planning Director/Drinking Water Protection of the Environmental Health Division at the Minnesota Department of Health, Shakopee city water meets all the requirements of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, including the drinking water standard for nitrate.
The drinking water standard for nitrate is 10 milligrams per liter (10 mg/L or 10 parts per million). The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) works in collaboration with the city utility to carefully watch water quality trends and take steps to prevent any violation of safe drinking water standards long before contaminant levels reach the limit. Together, they also take steps to protect the land area that drains to the city water supply (Drinking Water Supply Management Area) to keep contaminants out of the water and prevent additional treatment costs. Often that land is outside the city boundaries and may include both public and private land, making land-use changes to protect the water supply challenges.
Under Minnesota’s new Groundwater Protection Rule, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) restricts the application of nitrogen fertilizer applied to cropland in the fall and on frozen soils in Drinking Water Supply Management Areas where public wells have nitrate at or above 5.4 mg/L, which is lower than the drinking water standard. The restrictions begin September 1st of each year. Given the amount of development that has occurred in the Shakopee area in recent years, cropland acres and the associated fertilizer applications have likely decreased over time. If there are more questions about the Groundwater Protection Rule, you can contact our colleague at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Larry Gunderson (651-201-6168; Larry.Gunderson@state.mn.us).
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