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Our Treatment Process

The water we drink comes from the Red River. Surface water sources like the river can provide more water volume than localized groundwater wells, and most communities use them as their water source.

Surface water is a renewable resource when compared to groundwater. Surface water quality, however, is variable and highly dependent on weather and other environmental conditions. For this reason, more rigorous water treatment processes are required for surface water sources.

The City of Fargo maintains one of the most sophisticated water treatment facilities in the United States, and the treatment plant has undergone [several security upgrades](NEED TO LINK "several security upgrades") since the 9/11 attack. The chemical and physical processes used at the plant convert surface water with unknown quality into a consistently safe, soft and good-tasting drinking water.

Water from the Red River is hard, and the water treatment process centers around softening the water. The water softening process reduces hardness from an average of 17 grains per gallon to a target value of 7 grains per gallon. Some hardness in the finished water is good because it prevents the water from being too corrosive.

After softening, the water is disinfected with ozone gas and then filtered to remove fine particles, additional hardness and dissolved minerals like iron. Finally, chloramine is added before distribution to provide disinfection right up to the tap in Fargo homes.

The plant met all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for water clarity in 2013.