St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - An annual report from the Minnesota Department of Health found the state’s public drinking water supplies are generally in good shape, but also emphasizes the need to remain vigilant in addressing threats that are causing major problems in other parts of the country.

Health Department Commissioner Ed Ehlinger says we cannot afford to get complacent, “Aging infrastructure, increasing levels of contaminants and new knowledge about what is in our water threaten our water quality and quantity. We must continue our work with property owners, communities, other state agencies and additional partners to ensure all Minnesotans have safe and abundant drinking water.”

The drinking water report includes a summary of the testing and monitoring results for Minnesota’s public water supply systems. The findings show Minnesota continues to have strong compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and that the drinking water in the state is safe. Ehlinger notes only rare contamination problems were detected in the 6,700 public water supplies based on samples that were subjected to over 64,000 separate tests for more than 100 potential contaminants.

31 of the systems tested positive for coliform bacteria, arsenic contamination was found to exceed the federal safety standards in 7 systems, 6 had lead levels that require action and 2 systems had radium levels exceeded federal standards

Commissioner Ehlinger and Minnesota Health Department staff members will be participating in a series of Water Quality Town Hall meetings throughout the state, beginning next Monday in Rochester.

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