Common questions

Frequently asked questions about Minneapolis drinking water and services

Water quality questions

Why does my drinking water look red, yellow, or brown?
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Why does my drinking water look cloudy or milky?
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Why does my water smell or taste bad?
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Minneapolis tap water customers can rest assured that their drinking water is safe. In addition to the continuous sampling and analyzing done to ensure strict compliance with federal and state drinking water regulations, the state Department of Health requires extensive testing for lead and copper in the City’s drinking water every three years. These tests were conducted in 2018 and out of the fifty (50) homes tested, all tested below the EPA’s action level for copper and only two homes tested above the action level for lead. Follow-up testing showed the increase in lead levels were caused by lead in a kitchen faucet not from the water piping and letting the water run briefly decreased the lead level to below the action level.

Lead in drinking water is usually from lead that has leached from homeowners’ plumbing such as private service pipes, lead-based solder and components such as brass fixtures. This is a preventable problem. In fact, in the early 1990s, the Minnesota Department of Health approved the City’s Optimum Corrosion Control Program, which let Minneapolis water professionals figure out the best water chemistry strategies to prevent corrosion in our water system. As a result of that program, Minneapolis controls the pH of water so it’s noncorrosive and also adds a corrosion inhibitor called ortho polyphosphate. As a result, Minneapolis’ water is designed to form a thin scale inside pipes and fixtures to act as a barrier between the metal and the water we drink.

For more about how the City makes sure its drinking water is safe, please contact George Kraynick at 612-661-4923 or

Mpls Drinking Water - Lead Fact Sheet

Hmong - Lead Fact Sheet

Somali - Lead Fact Sheet

Spanish - Lead Fact Sheet


Minneapolis Water is among the 620 public water supplies in Minnesota that are required by law to add a small amount of fluoride to their water. Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay. Learn more about fluoride and Minneapolis Water fluoridation here.

Mpls Drinking Water - Fluoride Fact Sheet

Hmong - Mpls Drinking Water - Fluoride Fact Sheet

Somali - Mpls Drinking Water - Fluoride Fact Sheet

Spanish - Mpls Drinking Water - Fluoride Fact Sheet

Frozen water service lines

Minneapolis takes care of over 1,000 miles of underground water mains throughout the city. When homes or businesses connect to the water mains, the owners of those properties have the responsibility of maintaining their water service lines. When underground water lines or lines in basements freeze during extremely cold winters, the property owners must contact and pay a contractor to thaw out the line.

How do I know if my service line is frozen?
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My service line is frozen. What should I do?
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Is there a way to prevent my service line from freezing?
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If I choose to run my water to prevent my line from freezing, who pays for the extra water and sewer charges?
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How can I correct this problem permanently?
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Why clean and line water mains?
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Schedule and process steps
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Temporary water supply
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Water billing
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Water meter & building access
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Safety & traffic
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Hydrant flushing

The City flushes the water hydrants to help maintain good water quality and to verify the hydrants are in working order. The flushing process may stir up mineral deposits in the water mains, causing your water to discolor. Unfortunately, it is not possible to determine in advance whether or not this discoloration will occur. Discolored water is safe for drinking. However, it may damage laundry. Therefore, customers are cautioned against doing laundry, especially white clothing, while hydrants in your area are being flushed. Please warn children to keep a safe distance from the work area while City crews are flushing the hydrants.

To be notified when the hydrants in your area will be flushed, sign up to receive notifications.

Note: we cannot guarantee that you will receive a notification so please stay alert to the presence of City crews flushing hydrants in your area.

Utility billing 

Billing help and information

Minneapolis Utility Billing provides billing services for Minneapolis residents for their water, sewer, stormwater, solid waste and recycling services. For billing help and information, please go to utility billing.

Utility bill emergency assistance

Hennepin County Human Service department offers help and support to the City of Minneapolis residents by providing short-term aid to ease financial hardships, covered services include utility bills. 

For information, call the Hennepin County Emergency Assistance team at 612-569-1900 or go to Hennepin emergency programs

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Contact us

Water Treatment & Distribution Services


For water emergencies


For water quality information



350 S. 5th St. Room 203
Minneapolis, MN 55415