The city of Moorhead uses ozone as the primary disinfectant and treatment agent for its municipal water supply. The plant opened in 1994, and the ozone process kicked in the following year. Plant workers add ozone to the water after it has undergone softening to extract minerals. The water is then filtered before being piped around the city. The treatment process also involves a little fluoride and chlorine thrown in for good measure, with the fluoride aiding in the fight against tooth decay and chlorine serving as a secondary disinfectant.
The city treats about 4.3 million gallons of water a day. Red River water enters the system at a site near Elm Park in south Moorhead. Moorhead takes about 85 percent of its water from the Red River and 15 percent from wells.It takes about two hours for the water to make the three-mile journey to the treatment plant, where it is given its shot of ozone. Besides disinfecting, ozone breaks down organic material in river water that might cause taste and odor.