What is the benefit of wellhead protection?
Wellhead protection provides an adequate supply of clean water. Preventing contamination is of extreme importance.
There are rules and statutes pertaining to wellhead protection. Do these rules and statutes affect private wells?
No. They only affect the public water supply.
What is the city required to do to protect the public water supply?
The city is required to manage a 200-foot radius (the inner-wellhead management zone) surrounding each public well, by:
- Maintaining the isolation distance for newly installed potential sources of contamination as defined in the state Well Code (MN Rules, chapter 4725).
- Monitoring existing potential sources of contamination that do not comply with the isolation distances.
- Implementing wellhead protection measures for potential contaminant sources in the inner-wellhead management zone.
Also, the city must prepare a wellhead protection plan which includes:
- A map showing the wellhead protection areas,
- A vulnerability assessment of the well and the wellhead protection area,
- An inventory of potential sources of contamination within the wellhead protection areas based on the vulnerability assessment,
- A plan to manage and monitor existing and proposed potential sources of contamination, and
- A contingency strategy for an alternative water supply should the water supply be disrupted by contamination or mechanical failure.
Does the city own all the property within that 200-feet inner-wellhead management zone?
No. There is no requirement that the city has to own all the property within the 200-foot radius surrounding public wells.
Are there unused and unsealed wells in Dakota County?
There are approximately 30,000 unused wells in Dakota County. Many of these may have been buried or forgotten. Unused wells that have not been professionally sealed can be a source of groundwater contamination that could threaten the water in the city wells, your neighbors well, or your own.
I have an unused well on my property. What can I do?
Dakota County has a grant cost share program to help well owners properly seal and abandon unused wells. Search for “seal abandoned well” at Dakota Countyfor more information on this program.
Where can I have my well water tested?
The Minnesota Department of Health has a list of certified laboratories in the State for private well owners and Dakota County can provide water testing kits and/or County personnel to sample your drinking water for a fee.