It’s groundwater awareness week – is your private well safe?

Private well owners must take measures to protect their drinking water. That includes protecting the groundwater that is drawn into the well. National Groundwater Awareness Week (March 8-14) brings attention to the important role that groundwater plays in the health and wellbeing of people. Anoka County Environmental Services and the Minnesota Department of Health recommend all home and cabin well owners read the Well Owners Handbook that provides important information to maintain private wells and protect drinking water.

To start, follow the Three Cs of well maintenance:

Cap – ensure the well cap is securely attached and not broken or missing, and the connections through the cap are watertight.

Casing – check the well pipe for cracks or corrosion damage. The casing should extend 12 inches above ground level.

Conduit – confirm that the conduit for the electric service wire to the well is securely connected to the well cap.

Anoka County Environmental Services provide water testing services  to residents, recommending that private well owners test their well annually (or anytime there is a noticeable change in water quality such as odors, colors or taste) for total coliform bacteria and nitrate-nitrogen. If a private well owner does not have an arsenic test result – they are encouraged to test the water once to determine if it is above the safe drinking water level.

For more information contact Anoka County Environmental Services at 763-422-7063.

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