Monday, July 30, 2007 - 10:27am

Madison Water Utility - Unit Well 29 was placed in service last week on standby status to provide a back-up water supply for neighborhoods on the far east side of Madison. The well may be needed in fire or other water emergencies. "Standby" refers to a condition in which a well operates twice per week to turn over the water in the reservoir. This action ensures that a proper chlorine residual is maintained in the water and that fresh water is regularly added to the reservoir in case it's needed in an emergency.

Through September, Well 29 will operate on Mondays from 8:00 am to Noon and from 10:00 pm Thursday to 2:00 am Friday. Water from Well 29 will enter the distribution system during these two periods. Last year, the utility had operated the well on standby only at night (10 pm to 2 am) to minimize customer impact related to elevated levels of manganese and iron in the water. The revised schedule enables the Water Utility to have staff on-site each time the well is started up this season to ensure that the unit is functioning properly, confirm proper chlorination, and take water quality samples.

Earlier this year, the Water Utility was authorized to construct a filter at Well 29 to reduce the high levels of iron and manganese in the water. The water pumped from Well 29 has 180 parts per billion (ppb) manganese and 0.4 parts per million (ppm) iron. The filter is expected to be operational in January 2009. Until the filter goes on-line, use of Well 29 will be limited to the high-demand summer months and the well will primarily serve as a back-up water supply. The filter is being installed because levels of manganese and iron, although not high enough to cause health problems, may cause staining of laundry and plumbing fixtures.

Well 29 is located on Madison's far east side. Homes and businesses located within the area generally bounded by Commercial Avenue, Interstate 90/94, Lien Road, and Walsh Drive may receive water from Well 29 when the well operates. Customers in the affected area are asked to contact the Water Utility (266-4654) if they experience discolored water.

Customers wanting to receive regular updates on Madison's drinking water quality can subscribe to the Drinking Water Quality Listserv at http://lavos.wiscnet.net/mailman/listinfo/drinkingwaterquality. In addition, information on which well(s) serve a specific address can be found on our website, www.madisonwater.org, under the Water Quality tab, or by calling the Water Utility.


  • David Denig-Chakroff, General Manager, MWU608-266-4652
  • Joe Grande, Water Quality Manager, MWU608-266-4654

Water Utility