Treatment and delivery process

Learn how we bring drinking water from the river to your tap.

Our water comes from the Mississippi River

  • We pump approximately 21 billion gallons of water from river each year. 
  • We deliver an average of 57 million gallons of drinking water each day. That's enough to fill Lake of the Isles in about four days. 
  • Our distribution system includes:
    • 9 pump stations
    • 8 finished water reservoirs 
    • 1,000 miles of water mains
    • 15,000 isolation valves
    • 162 million gallons of storage capacity

It's treated at our state-of-the-art water plants

There are many steps in the treatment process.

  • Softening 
    • We remove 65,000 pounds of hardness from our water each day.
  • Filtering 
    • We filter it at one of our two plants.
    • The Fridley plant uses granular activated carbon filters.
    • The Columbia Heights plant uses ultrafiltration membranes.
  • Disinfecting
    • We disinfect it with chlorine.
    • This helps water maintain its quality as it moves through our distribution system.
  • Finishing
    • A corrosion control additive keeps lead and copper from dissolving into the water.
    • Fluoride — Helps prevent tooth decay.
  • Storing
    • We store water in large reservoirs before delivering it to our customers.
  • Testing
    • This is an ongoing process. 
    • We perform about 500 tests every day of water in our plants and across the distribution system.
    • There are three types of tests: chemical, physical, bacteriological.

It's delivered to customers in and around Minneapolis

40% goes to Minneapolis residents

22% goes to seven suburban cities

  • Bloomington
  • Columbia Heights
  • Crystal
  • Edina — Morningside
  • Golden Valley
  • Hilltop
  • New Hope

38% goes to businesses and institutions, including:

  • The Metropolitan Airport Commission
  • University of Minnesota—Twin Cities


Safe Drinking Water Act

Video recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Looking at open doors to Minneapolis Water Works Softening Plant in Fridley.
Rows of water pumps.
Pool of water reflecting light the water plant equipment.

Contact us

Public Works Water Treatment & Distribution Services


For water emergencies


For water quality information



4300 Marshall St. NE
Fridley, MN 55421

This building is closed to the public.