Clean Water for Cottage Grove
In February 2018, the State of Minnesota settled its lawsuit against the 3M Company involving drinking water contamination in the East Metro that has resulted from PFAS chemicals. The settlement included funding for infrastructure projects for 14 East Metro communities, including the City of Cottage Grove to mitigate the PFAS contamination in the City’s water supply wells.
As a result of state agencies, citizens, stakeholders, and technical experts from each of the affected communities working together since 2018, a comprehensive set of recommended options has been drafted and the final plan to mitigate the PFAS contamination has been released. The plan was officially released August 18, 2021.
The City of Cottage Grove will receive $91 million through the settlement agreement that will fund a long-term water supply and treatment plan. The resulting solution includes two new water treatment plants, a new public well, new water mains and connections for homes currently served by private wells.
The City of Cottage Grove has already completed several projects to address the City’s drinking water issues since May of 2017, to ensure safe drinking water is supplied to the community:
• Two interim water treatment plants were constructed in 2017, the costs of which were reimbursed by the state.
• In 2019, a Pilot Study to evaluate new and more cost-effective treatment options was initiated and will be wrapped up in fall 2021.
• In 2020, the City constructed a third temporary water treatment plant utilizing additional funding from the state.
• In 2020, water mains were extended to the River Acres and Granada neighborhoods and approximately 160 homes were connected to the City’s system that were previously served by individual wells, funded by advanced funding from the settlement agreement.
Going forward, Cottage Grove’s projects funded by the 3M Settlement Agreement include two permanent water treatment plants, construction of raw water transmission lines (to convey the water from the wells directly to the treatment plant), a new well to replace two existing wells that are contaminated with PFAS, connection of additional neighborhoods to the City’s water system and the sealing of those contaminated wells, among other items that support this significant effort.
In spring 2021, the City started the planning and pre-design work for one of the permanent water treatment plants through advanced funding from the state. This plant will be located on the property by the water towers behind the Central Fire Station on 80th Street. The second treatment plant will be located in the southwest area of the City, south of 100th Street. This second site will also feature the new well that will be constructed to replace two existing City wells that are contaminated with PFAS. Planning is also in the beginning stages for the raw water transmission lines that will bring the water from the existing wells to the treatment plants.
More detailed information on the City’s water treatment plan can be found through Cottage Grove's dedicated Community page on the 3M Settlement Agreement website.