Protecting groundwater quality is a matter of pollution prevention

Clean groundwater is vital. Groundwater not only provides drinking water to most Anoka County residents and businesses but it provides the necessary water for the operation of all plumbing fixtures (e.g. showers, toilets, kitchen faucets, etc.) It also irrigates crops and lawns, maintains water levels in lakes, and (given enough time) can assimilate some pollution.

Polluted groundwater often is unsuitable for drinking and usually expensive to clean up. Plus, it also costs more to construct a water-supply well in an area of polluted groundwater since the well may need to be drilled deeper to tap an uncontaminated aquifer, where available.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has released a Report The Condition of Minnesota’s Groundwater, 2007-2011 (Aug. 2013) describing the condition of Minnesota’s groundwater including trends of selected contaminants. The Report emphasizes that the quality of water, in heavily-used aquifers, is vulnerable to pollution.

Assessed are the impacts of nitrate, phosphorus, sulfate, chloride, arsenic, iron, manganese, a suite of 68 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and a suite of over 100 contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) on groundwater. The water-quality assessments were primarily based on chemical monitoring data collected from 2007-2011.

For information on how to prevent pollution and protect Anoka County’s groundwater:

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