Grand Marais PUC considers future of aging infrastructure

During the February 1 meeting of the Grand Marais Public Utilities Commissions (PUC), Wastewaster Superintendent Tom Nelson remarked that water lost due to aging infrastructure and leaks is down to 30 percent as compared to last year’s average of 50 percent.

“We’ve had a handful of infrastructure improvements. A good chunk will be replaced with the highway project in 2019 too,” Nelson said.

This past year the water treatment plant has also experienced two record-breaking highs. The highest daily flow recorded was on November 30 at 2 million gallons. The month of May recorded the largest average daily flow at 390,000 gallons a day. The average usually sits around 160,000 gallons a day.

Commissioner George Wilkes commented that large water flows may be more common as we experience larger “rain events” due to climate change.

Commissioner Nelson went on to mention that warm snaps, like that experienced early this January, can also add to large water flows during parts of the year that typically sees lower water flows due to freezing temperatures.