Backflow Prevention for Residential Irrigation Customers
Backflow is the reverse flow of non-potable water, contaminants or other substances into the treated (potable) drinking water system.
Backflow devices are required on irrigation systems to prevent water that’s been released into irrigation systems from being drawn back into the home or possibly SPU’s water supply with contaminants, such as, stagnant water, chemicals or fertilizers.
MN Plumbing Code requires these backflow devices be tested annually by a certified tester or licensed plumber.
Click below to learn more.Backflow Prevention
SPU maintains seasonal water restrictions May 1 through September 30th.
If your address number is an even number, sprinkle or irrigate on even days only. If your address number is an odd number, sprinkle or irrigate on odd days only.
No watering allowed between noon and 5:00 p.m. for any address.
See below for watering tips and practices.
Safe Drinking Water
Groundwater/wellhead protection is a means of safeguarding public water supply wells by preventing contaminants from entering the area that contributes water to the well or well field over a period of time. The following items are things that everyone can do to help prevent groundwater contamination.
Shakopee Public Utilities has completed the development of their Wellhead Protection Plan. This plan is designed to protect the groundwater aquifers that supply the Shakopee municipal drinking water wells. The plan identifies potential sources of contamination that could pollute local groundwater wells and enter the community’s water supply. The goal of this plan is to help ensure that Shakopee Public Utilities continues to provide its customers with a safe and abundant supply of clean drinking water for generations to come. Wells can become polluted when substances that are harmful to human health get into the groundwater. Water from these wells can become dangerous to drink when the level of pollution rises above health standards. Fortunately, Shakopee Public Utilities’ water supply currently meets (and exceeds) all State and Federal drinking water standards. We regularly sample the water from our wells and provide an annual Consumer Confidence Report to residents.
The Wellhead Protection Plan can only be successful if residents play a role in helping to protect the aquifer. To help us implement our plan, you can do the following:
- Help identify land uses and potential sources of contamination on your property (wells, tanks, septic systems, hazardous wastes, etc).
- Make sure any potential sources of contamination under your control meet local, state, and federal regulations.
- Seal any unused wells on your property, according to Minnesota Well Code. See the Minnesota Department of Health website for more information. Owners of active wells should refer to the Well Owner’s Handbook for proper construction, maintenance, and sampling information.
- Use hazardous products only as directed and dispose of them properly when no longer needed. Visit the Scott County website for information on handling and disposal of wastes, including information on the Scott County Household Hazardous Waste Facility.
- Practice proper turf management techniques and avoid over-fertilization of your lawns and gardens. Visit the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website for more information.
- Identify whether your property contains a Class V injection well. Information about Class V wells can be found on the EPA’s website. If you have a Class V well on your property, make sure you follow all EPA rules regarding these wells.
- Conserve water whenever possible. Lawn watering is one of the largest uses of municipal water during summer months. Tips for conserving water, while maintaining a healthy lawn, are included here.
- Report spills (or illegal dumping) of hazardous wastes, fuels, or chemicals to law enforcement.
Some other ideas for protecting our wellhead:
Shakopee Public Utilities uses the unidirectional flushing method. We control the direction of the water flowing through the mains by changing the valving in the street instead of just opening a hydrant and letting it flow. In this way, we can scour the mains in two directions to remove the maximum amount of sediments and minerals. This method of flushing will use less water and remove more aesthetically undesirable minerals such as iron and manganese.
Flushing can also save money on chemicals. Some of the minerals that cling to the walls of the watermains can also reduce the amount of chlorine in the water that is necessary to prevent harmful bacteria. By keeping our watermains clean we will not need to add additional chlorine to the system.
Our flushing season is from April until November. We will place signs at the major entrances to a neighborhood a few days prior to flushing. Flushing will take place between 7:30 am and 4:00 pm. While these signs are up it is advisable that you make sure your water is clear before washing any light-colored clothing. Simply run some water into a clear glass to see if there is any discoloration.
If you have any questions about our flushing program please call (952) 233-1503.
The University of Minnesota is a great resource for smarter irrigation practices. Take some time to browse their website and read the materials linked on this page to learn how to save money and water.
With a hardness of 21 Grains per Gallon, Shakopee is classified as having “Very Hard” water.
Hard water requires more soap and synthetic detergents for home laundry and washing, and can cause scale buildup. Calcium and magnesium are the two most common minerals that make water “hard”.
Water Leaks – High Usage
How to Find a Toilet Leak
Fixing a Toilet Leak
Homeowners are responsible for all water usage, even if it results from a leak.
You may be able to hear a leak before you can see it so listen carefully for water flow. Common leak sources may include toilets, water softener malfunctions, indoor and outdoor faucets, humidifiers attached to furnaces, and/or irrigation systems. If you cannot find or fix the leak yourself you may need to hire a plumber to resolve the issue.
A leaking toilet can waste up to 600 gallons of water per day.Report a Water Problem
Water Service Line Repairs
Homeowners are responsible for water service line repairs. The homeowner’s responsibility for the water service line is everything in the home out to and including the connection to the water main out in the street. In the event of a line leak and/or break the expense for the repair is the homeowners. While infrequent, these are expensive costs to incur.
Please check with your homeowner insurance provider for optional insurance coverage.
Frozen Pipes – How to Prevent
There are three things that lead to the majority of frozen pipe problems:
- Sudden drops in temperature.
- Bad or no insulation where needed.
- Thermostats set too low.
Water used as a result of a frozen pipe break is the homeowner’s/SPU account holder’s responsibility.
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 challenging.
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; [email protected]).