Well Water Wise week (May 5-9, 2014)

Private (home and cabin)  well owners must perform an annual test to ensure that their water supply remains safe to drink.  The Anoka County Community Health and Environmental Services Department, in cooperation with 13 communities, is sponsoring the 15th annual Well Water Wise Week (3W).

Anoka County’s 3W promotion coincides with National Drinking Water Week in which communities recognize the success of their public water supplier to reliably provide safe drinking water (to obtain a copy of water testing for your community supply contact your water utility department).  Anoka County’s 3W cooperators would like all residents to recognize the importance of regular testing of their drinking water supply and maintaining private wells to prevent pollutants from entering their water supply or the groundwater near their well.

Unlike public water utilities, private well water is not treated with chlorine to prevent bacteria growth. Simply looking at the appearance of water is not a reliable indicator of whether it is safe to drink.  An annual coliform bacteria test ensures that your drinking water is free of micro-organisms.

Nitrate-nitrogen occurs naturally in groundwater and wells at concentrations below one milligram per liter (mg/L). Nitrogen can seep into private wells from a variety sources including septic systems, nitrogen fertilizers, animal feedlots and landfills.  The Minnesota Department of Health has established a Health Risk Limit (HRL) for nitrate-nitrogen at 10 mg/L. Levels above that point may pose an immediate risk to infants and pregnant women.

Residents may pick up a well water test kit at participating city and township offices (listed below) or at the Environmental Services office, Suite 360, of the Anoka County Government Center at 2100 Third Avenue, Anoka, MN 55303. Water samples can be submitted to the Environmental Services every Monday from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to Noon.  During 3W week only, samples can be submitted Monday through Thursday (8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.) and Friday (before Noon). The well water testing kit includes details about water collection and submission.  A laboratory fee of $30 will be charged for bacteria and nitrate nitrogen analysis. For additional water testing (e.g. arsenic, lead, fluoride, iron, chloride and total hardness) contact Environmental Services at 763-422-7063 to obtain the proper sample kit and instructions.  See the Well Water Testing video (YouTube, 4:16).

Well Water Wise kits are at participating communities and agencies:

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