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Bill For Minnesota Water-Treatment Plant Stokes Anger

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PARK RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) – Park Rapids residents will see their water bills rise about 25 percent to help pay for a water-treatment plant, but some residents are angry that they’re paying to clean contamination caused by farmers.

A report says the city’s water supply has become contaminated with nitrates from agricultural fertilizer.

Park Rapids is in north-central Minnesota and has a population of 3,700. Agriculture is big business there, but now an aquifer that used to provide plenty of clean drinking water has nitrate concentrations two to three times safe levels.

The city will bring its $2.5 million treatment plant on line next month. That could cost local families about $130 more in annual water bills.

Resident Dick Rutherford says farmers should be covering the whole cost.

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