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Warning issued to Fargo over bromate found in drinking water

Fargo Water Treatment Plant, 2011 (WDAY News)

FARGO --  The North Dakota Department of Health has notified Fargo that a routine monthly drinking water sample collected on December 11th, 2017 was not in compliance with the Environmental Protection Agencies standard average of 0.010 miligrams per liter for bromate.  The sample collected in December had 0.088 miligrams per liter. Bromate is a chemical compound that forms when the ozone reacts with naturally-occuring bromide found in water.

A review of the collected water samples found that during a nine-day period, December 7th-15th, the levels were above the EPA standard. During this nine-day period, the water was coming from the Sheyenne River and a mechanical failure with monitoring equipment resulted in incorrect ozone readings. According to the City of Fargo, Bromide concentrations are typically higher in the Sheyenne River than the Red River.

The city says they took steps to correct the ozone monitoring. They ceased using Sheyenne River water on December 15th and in turn the bromate concentrations reduced dramatically. The Fargo Water Treatment Plant is now primarily using water from the Red River and say the current bromate levels are around 0.001 miligrams per liter. 

The city says the Sheyenne River will only be used sparingly until new technology at the Fargo Water Treatment Plant is online in mid-2018. The city says there is no cause for alarm and no need to use an alternative water supply.

The city will be directly mailing postcards to it's consumers in Fargo, West Fargo and the Cass County Rural Water District in the next week.

If residents have additional questions, they can contact the City of Fargo’s Water Treatment Plant at 701-241-1469.