Inver Grove Heights says water remains safe to drink after another elevated radium reading

Inver Grove Heights officials say the city's drinking water remains safe to use after elevated levels of radium were once again detected in June.

Tests conducted in late June revealed a radium reading of 6.2 picoCuries per Liter (pCi/L). However, the city notes that the rolling average for the tests is still in the acceptable range of 5.4 pCi/L, and residents shouldn't be afraid to use the water. It's also worth noting that the 

Last fall, the city first identified elevated levels of radium in the water supply, with a rolling average of 6.0 pCi/L. Follow-up tests in March 2023 showed a lower reading (4.7), well within the acceptable range.

In response to the findings in Fall 2022, the city moved forward with plans to make improvements to its water treatment facility. The work on the facility was initially scheduled to commence in early 2024. However, it was postponed last month and is now set to begin in the fall of 2024. The delay was due to a lag time for the bidding and ordering "key components" for the facility.

While these findings are concerning, the city emphasizes that residents should not panic. They can continue to drink and use the city water.

"The City takes this matter seriously and is acting urgently to mitigate this issue," the city writes in a public notice. "However, this is not an emergency. You do not need an alternative source of water (such as bottled water), nor do you need to boil water before use. People with specific health concerns are encouraged to consult their doctor or health care provider. Residents with questions about the effectiveness of their home water treatment systems in filtering radium should consult with the system manufacturer or installation company."

The City of Inver Grove Heights is scheduled to conduct another series of water tests before the end of the month.

Radium is a naturally occurring radioactive material that is found in rocks and soil, and can often get into groundwater.