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Orono Water Softener and Drinking Water Guide

The City of Orono MN provides drinking water to its residents from three wells ranging from 269-385 feet deep. These wells draw water from the Jordan, Quaternary Buried Artesian, and Prairie Du Chien-Jordan aquifers.

Occasional Rusty Discolored Water in Orono MN

Sometimes the tap water supplied by the City of Orono MN may contain low levels of Iron and Manganese that bleed through the treatment system.

Iron is another natural mineral in Orono water with concentrations ranging between 0-0.4ppm. In areas with over 0.3ppm, discolored laundry, stained fixtures, and a metallic taste or smell may be noticed.

  • Soft Water
  • National Hardness Average
  • Orono MN Water Hardness

Orono Water Softener Recommendations

The national average for water hardness is 5gpg (grains per gallon). Orono MN water hardness is 22-25gpg, which is almost 5x harder than average.

A water softener will protect your water heater, plumbing, and appliances from hard water damage.  A high efficiency water softener will offer the same protection, but will use far less water and salt.

Orono MN Water Reports

The City of Orono, MN does regular water testing and publishes the results in Annual Drinking Water Reports. These reports explain which water contaminants, and what levels have been found.


The EPA has two standards for drinking water contaminants:

MCL: Maximum Contaminant Level
The legal limit for a certain contaminant

MCLG: Maximum Contaminant Level GOAL
The level with ZERO HEALTH RISKS, aka the “Health Limit”

All water contaminants meet the EPA’s “Legal Limit”. Contaminants that exceed the EPA’s Health Limit have been highlighted below.

Inorganic Contaminants

Inorganic contaminants include natural and manmade salts and metals. You are mostly exposed to inorganics through drinking water, most do not easily pass through skin. Carbon Filters (refrigerator and faucet filters) have almost ZERO impact on these contaminants. Reverse Osmosis very effective at removing inorganic contaminants.

Contaminant Amount Found Health Limit Legal Limit Potential Effects
Arsenic 2.13-3.0 0 10 Skin damage or problems w/ circulatory systems, increased risk of cancer
Barium 0.012 2 2 Increase in blood pressure
Fluoride 0.98-1.9 4 4 Bone disease;children may get mottled teeth
Nitrate 0.41-0.78 10 10 Blue-baby syndrome

Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts

Disinfectants are added to kill bacteria. Disinfectants like Chlorine react with other chemicals and create “Disinfection Byproducts. These chemicals enter the body through inhalation, absorption through skin, and drinking water. A Whole House Carbon Filter is a good preventative tool in addition to a Drinking Water System for these compounds.

Contaminant Amount Found Health Limit Legal Limit Potential Effects
Chlorine 0.6-0.9 4 4 Eye/nose irritation; stomach discomfort
Chloroform 1.6-3.1 5.7 80 Nervous system depression, increase in kidney and liver tumors
Haloacetic Acids 2.1-2.2 0 80 Increased risk of cancer
Total Trihalomethanes 1.8-5.6 0 60 Increased risk of cancer

Radionuclide Contaminants

Radionuclides in water may occur naturally, or come from oil and gas production or mining activities. These can be inhaled, or consumed through drinking water.

Contaminant Amount Found Health Limit Legal Limit Potential Effects
Alpha Emitter 2.1-8.3 0 15.4 Increased risk of cancer
Combined Radium 2.8 0 5 Increased risk of cancer
Radon 390-597 0 NA Increased risk of cancer

This information was compiled from Orono’s water treatment reports, the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA), Minnesota Department of Health(DOH), World Health Organization(WHO), and Environmental Working Group(EWG). Please contact us if there are any missing contaminants, or levels that differ from those outlined on this page.

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