Minneapolis Department of Public Works

Public Works

350 South 5th Street
RM 203 City Hall
Minneapolis, MN  55415-1390

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Water main cleaning and lining

Bringing tap water to homes and businesses throughout Minneapolis requires an extensive network of pipes. There are around a thousand miles of underground water mains in the city that bring clean water from our treatment facilities to your faucet.

To make sure the water you get is of high quality, the City cleans and lines approximately seven miles of water mains each construction season. A number of these mains are taken off line for this maintenance work, which begins once the ground thaws in the spring.

Why clean and line water mains?

Older water mains in town (about 750 of the 1,000 miles of water main) are made of unlined cast iron. Over the years, these pipes get mineral deposits that, while safe, can decrease water volume in the pipe and discolor water for customers.


BEFORE


AFTER

To fix this, crews scrape off the mineral buildup in these mains. They also add a cement lining to prevent the cast iron water main from future mineral build up. The work adds about 50 years of life to the water mains and keeps the water that goes through them clear. Since the mid-1960s, the City has installed ductile iron that comes with a factory-installed cement lining for any new water main installations.

How do customers get water during construction?

Crews need to empty the water mains before any cleaning and lining can occur. Customers who use affected lines are supplied with tap water through temporary, above-ground water lines that connects to homes and buildings through exterior faucets.

Last updated May. 17, 2013