Friday, July 20, 2018

Mystery to Monument: The Devil’s Kettle Water Foundation

In Judge C.R. Magney State Park on the North Shore of Lake Superior lives a fascinating geological mystery: The Devil’s Kettle.

The Devil’s Kettle is part rock formation, part waterfall, and complete conundrum. The Brule River runs until it hits the rocks at the top of a waterfall, then it splits in two. The right fork cascades down like a typical waterfall and the left fork appears to vanish into a large hole below. Then… it disappears. There’s no apparent entrance back into the river for the water that plunges into the kettle. It’s been called the Waterfall to Nowhere.
Image by aaronHwarren via Flickr

Visitors and scientists attempted to solve the mystery of where the water entering the Devil’s Kettle ends up for years. Some tossed in ping-pong balls, branches, and – legend has it – a car to see where they rejoin the river downstream. For a long time, no one could figure it out – the objects just kept disappearing.

That is, until last year when two scientists – a retired professor and a hydrologist – measured the water volume of the Brule River right before it plunges down the falls and again at the bottom. The results? The volume is nearly identical, leading them to believe that the exit to the Devil’s Kettle is a short distance away, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

If you’re looking to test your own theories, by tossing in a handful of leaves or nearby branch, be prepared for a bit of a hike. Getting to Devil’s Kettle is about a 2.5 miles round trip, but there are plenty of benches to rest and enjoy the scenery along the way. In our opinion, it’s totally worth it to see one of the coolest water formations in the state!

Looking for other fun water facts and mysteries? Follow us on Facebook and check out our other blogs.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Foods To Keep You Hydrated This Summer

While drinking water is still the best way to stay hydrated, there are some foods that can help you because they consist mostly of water. During the hot summer days, consider munching on some of these hydrating foods!


Is it any surprise this is the first on the list? Consisting of 92 percent water, this melon lives up to its name. Even at room temperature, watermelon is refreshing like a cool glass of water. Even though watermelon is mostly made of water, the rest is low in calories and dense in nutrients and antioxidants. Read about the powerful benefits of water in this article on


Consisting of 95 percent water, cucumbers are a great hydrating food! claims cucumbers sooth skin irritations with vitamin C and caffeic acid. Cucumbers can also help you lose weight being low in calories while still making you feel full! This vegetables is a watery winner!


Similar to cucumbers, zucchini consists of about 95 percent water! This food is great to add to salads, main dishes, sides, and to eat plain with dip - even made into noodles! Zucchini is an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients. It is healthy for you and hydrating for your body.


These deliciously nutritious berries are 91 percent water. Plus, strawberries love the hot summer months, getting sweeter the hotter it is when they ripen. Their dark red color hints at their densely packed nutrients. Strawberries are high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.


At 96 percent water, lettuce is the wettest food on our list of hydrating foods! Lettuce provides a lot of water, but also folate and fiber. These nutrients are specifically important for pregnant women. Plus lettuce is high in vitamins A and K. Choose a salad for lunch and your body will thank you!

While many fruits and vegetables are incredibly hydrating, these five foods top the list! Keep your body hydrated, healthy, and happy by choosing to eat watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, zucchini, and lettuce more often this summer!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Conserving Water At The Best Waterparks In Minnesota

As the weather warms in Minnesota, you might be interested in visiting a water park. Popular public opinion is that water parks are a vast waste of water, but the reality is that water parks take water conservation very seriously.

Here are a few great water parks to visit in Minnesota this summer!

Three Bears Water Park

An indoor water park like Three Bears Water Park in Brainerd is a great choice. Without humidity, evaporation, and other environmental factors that prevent the water park’s efficiency, indoor water parks can recycle approximately 98% of their water! This particular water park is especially great for younger children with 3 slides that they can ride themselves!

As part of Holiday Inn Express, you can even make a weekend of it staying overnight and enjoying complimentary breakfast.

Bunker Beach Water Park

Voted the best water park in Minnesota by WCCO in 2017, Bunker Beach Water Park in Coon Rapids features unique experiences to interact with water. The huge pool creates 3-foot waves to make you feel like you are in the ocean! They also have six slides and multiple pools among their numerous attractions.

A large water park like Bunker Beach can accommodate thousands on visitors on a hot day. A water park option prevents consumption from all those guests who might otherwise be cooling off in their backyard pools and sprinklers.

Redwood Falls Aquatic Center

If you are in the southwest part of the state, visit the highly reviewed Redwood Falls Aquatic Center. This low-key water park is extremely family friendly and has reasonably priced daily rates. Cool off on their zero-depth entry pool, plunge and diving areas, as well as large lap pools. A well-maintained park like this one conserves water by reducing splash out and designing efficient deck wash down. Read about industry innovations for water park filters and recycling water here.

Enjoy your summer days splashing at the water park without the worry of water consumption. While water parks might use a lot of water to initially fill, their dedication to the recycling of water and the masses they serve make it worth it!

For more information about water conservation - and the best ways to cool off this summer - visit the AWWA Minnesota section on Facebook.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Water Volunteering Opportunities in Minnesota

Sometimes making the changes to conserve water in our everyday lives simply is not enough. Sometimes we want to make a bigger impact to help protect our natural waters.

Get involved by volunteering with these organizations in Minnesota which focus on water conservation.

Wetland Health Evaluation Program (WHEP)

A lot of volunteer opportunities to protect water involve collecting samples so that scientists can study and monitor changes. The wetland areas of Minnesota have a volunteer program called WHEP that does just that. Volunteers attend a training workshop and are given clear direction on what to do. A commit of just 20-40 hours through the whole summer is needed to collect the needed samples.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)

The MPCA accepts volunteers to help monitor the ice in their area throughout the state. The formulation and break-up of ice is an important milestone for a lake each year. Knowing as much information about this as possible helps to understand climate change and human influence on the health of Minnesota’s lakes. The lake ice reporting program is currently seeking more volunteers and could really use you! Click here to join in and help stop climate change.

Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR)

If you are interested in biology, this is the volunteer opportunity for you. FMR seeks volunteers to collect samples of small stream-dwelling bugs to track the health of the rivers that flow into the Mississippi. This is done in the Rice Creek Watershed District and is called the Stream Health Evaluation Program. Signing up means you are committing to spend 35-40 hours volunteering, mostly in the fall. You train with professional scientists to be a part of an important study to keep our streams healthy! Learn more here.

Besides these amazing volunteering opportunities, there are other ways to get involved. Click here to learn even more about how to protect Minnesota’s waters by volunteering in the community.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Reasons to Consider a Career in the Water Industry

If you’re looking for your first career or a new career, there’s a whole industry you maybe haven’t considered – The water industry! The Minnesota Section of the American Water Works Association offers several great reasons to consider a career in the water industry.

Career Variety

There are many types of career opportunities in the water industry. These jobs range from those for high school graduates to those with graduate degrees. If you’re looking for an outdoor position or a desk job, the water industry will be perfect for you.

"Right now the thing I like most about working in the water sector is working on projects that rehab or expand existing facilities. There is a huge need to improve existing water infrastructure. My favorite projects have been related to increasing treatment capacities within existing footprints using technology that wasn’t available when the facilities were first built."
– Kevin Young, MN AWWA Member


Water is important to everyone. This means that there will always be a demand for fresh, clean water – especially drinking water. Where there is a demand, there is stability in a career.

Options for Relocation

Water is needed in every community. This means that if you want to stay where you are, you can. On the flip side, if you have a strong desire to move, you can do that, too! You will have options for relocation while in the water industry.

Room for Growth

Working in the water industry leaves you is room for growth. Depending on your ambition, you will have the opportunity for further training, certifications, and growth.

Sense of Community

A great reason to work in the water industry is the sense of community you have with the customers and your coworkers.

"The most rewarding thing is knowing that the work we do has a direct positive effect on the community." - Allison Wheeler, MN AWWA Member

"The thing I find most rewarding about working in the water sector is being able to distribute safe and reliable water to our customers. They rely on me to supply safe, clean drinking water to them at all times. Our customers also rely on me to ensure that our system is adequately supplied for their safety as well. Our department takes pride in being able to accomplish both on a daily basis." - Eric Volk, MN AWWA Member

"I think the most rewarding thing about being in the water sector is that I am playing a part in providing something that really matters. I’m not just making things look pretty or getting people to buy a product, I’m helping communities provide an essential resource. I can’t think of many things that matter more." - Nicole Gaustad, MN AWWA Member

Using this information, you should now be able to make a decision for your next career. For more information and help, please contact us. We offer even more great resources for a career in the water industry.

Monday, January 8, 2018

5 Ways to Conserve Water in the Winter

Water conservation isn’t something we think much about during harsh Minnesota winters.

If you take a look outside, there is no grass or garden maintenance to do and water does a pretty good job of conserving itself by staying frozen, right? Well, sort of.

Take a look inside your home and you’ll find plenty of ways to conserve water, even during these cold winter months!

Here are some water conservation techniques that are particularly helpful in the winter:

Drip Your Faucets

At first, this may seem counterintuitive to conserving water, but by letting your faucets drip while you’re sleeping or out of the house will prevent the pipes from bursting. Consider the wasted water and other dangers during the winter; letting your faucets drip may potentially save a lot of water.

Utilize a Shower Bucket

Dripping your faucets segways nicely into the next point: Find good uses for the water you drip. To conserve the maximum amount of water, place a bucket or bowl under dripping faucets and use the water to flush your toilet or water your plants!

Insulate Your Hot Water Pipes

One of the best ways to warm up on a cold winter day is with a hot shower. You may have noticed that it takes longer for the water to warm up in the winter than in the summer. That’s because your pipes are cold. Insulating your hot water pipes helps the water warm up quicker and wastes less water while you wait for it to heat up. Also, it protects your pipes from bursting.

This is another instance in which a shower bucket would be helpful. Instead of letting all that water go to waste while you wait for the water to heat up, catch it in a bucket and, again, use it for flushing the toilet, watering plants, or any other use you have for extra water.

Locate Your Water Shut-off Valve

Should a pipe burst or some other catastrophic event happen with your pipes, it is VERY important that you know where the water shut-off valve is on your property. When an emergency comes around, the sooner you can shut off the water, the better. You’ll save money on water and damage repairs, additionally, you’ll save hundreds of gallons of water if you can shut that gushing pipe off right away!

Check for Leaks After the First Thaw

During the winter months, day and night temperatures can be drastically different. As your pipes expand and contract with those changes, they are placed under a great deal of stress. This can cause pipes to leak or break, which can cause massive water loss and high utility costs, so be sure to have a plumber check your pipes for damage after the first thaw.

The average person uses almost 70 gallons of water per day, and that’s only indoor water usage. Peak water usage during the summer for a household skyrockets up to 350 gallons per day! Whether we’re talking about water conservation in the summer or in the winter, it should become a part of all of our daily routines.

Visit our website to learn more.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Why America’s Water Infrastructure Matters

When Hurricane Irma hit in September, the aging sewer systems in Brunswick, Georgia flooded, making a very bad situation even worse. It can be hard to imagine going without water for one day, but thousands in Brunswick were not able to take showers, wash dishes, or flush toilets for four days. Our water infrastructure plays a seamless part in everyday life, so when it goes awry, the public notices. This specific example is why upgrading America’s water infrastructure is so important.

The American Water Works Association’s 2017 State of the Water Industry Report suggests that renewing water and wastewater infrastructure is the number one concern of water utility professionals in North America. However, because water infrastructure is out of sight, the seriousness of the issue is often times misunderstood.

MYTH: The federal government already overspends on water infrastructure.

FACT: 96 percent of public spending on water infrastructure comes from states and localities. So even though the conversation often makes national news, local water utilities often carry the financial burden.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the United States has nearly 52,000 community water systems. Because water systems are such regional operations, this can lead to coordination difficulties.

MYTH: As a public utility, water doesn’t add much to the economy.

FACT: Just 30 of the country’s largest water utilities support $52 billion in economic output and nearly 30,000 jobs annually. That doesn’t even include the millions of households, businesses, and industries that need seamless water infrastructure to function and grow their business.

In Minnesota, agriculture is a very important economic engine, and water systems are vital for its success. That’s because agriculture is one of the largest consumers of water. Water systems are tied directly to this industry and to workers that grow our food.

MYTH: Water costs are rising because water providers want higher revenue.

FACT: Water rates are increasing in many cities to cover the cost of infrastructure upgrades and repairs. In Flint, Michigan, infamous for its water contamination scandal, that will add up to an extra $300 billion on the county’s water bill. That puts many families in danger of not being able to afford their water bills. More public investment could help alleviate some of this cost.

The Minnesota Section of the American Water Works Association is committed to providing clean drinking water to Minnesota. For more information, visit our website.