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Published January 22, 2012, 08:31 PM

Grand Forks releasing waste water into the Red River daily

Grand Forks, ND (WDAZ TV) -- Grand Forks is releasing 2-million gallons of treated waste water a day into the Red River.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ, WDAZ

Grand Forks, ND (WDAZ TV) -- Grand Forks is releasing 2-million gallons of treated waste water a day into the Red River.

It looks and sounds more like a babbling brook then a city waste water discharge. Just north of Grand Forks this processed water dumps into the Red River after it's traveled two miles from lagoons. This is first year it will run during winter.

Todd Feland (Grand Forks Public Works): "See how we could do throughout the winter months and see how we could maintain our waste water quality. "

Public Works Director Todd Feland says by draining the water year around it will reduce the amount of water released during warmer months by millions a day. This will be environmentally better for the river and will reduce lagoon areas by about 300 acres.

Todd Feland / Public Works Director : "When we talk about the western most ones, Those are the ones nearest the airport. We have the issues of trying to reduce the impact of our lagoons on airport safety.

With the new discharge comes safety concerns.

Kevin Dean / City Of Grand Forks : "It's just like putting some ice in your sink and pouring some water. Eventually its going to melt. "

The discharged water is warm enough to cause ice to melt and open up water in that area.

Dean : "We just want to make sure that people know that it exists up there. And it's probably best for them just to avoid the area. "

The city has placed warning markers on the river and put this large sign up to warn snowmobilers and skiers of the hazardous ice condition. And will likely be a permanent place of caution on the Red for winters to come.

Fargo's treatment plant operates without lagoons and discharges water into the Red year round.

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