Drinking Water Testing & Protection

Knowing whether your drinking water is safe depends a great deal on who is supplying the water.  The safety of drinking water provided by a public water supplier (e.g. municipal utility, mobile home park, restaurants, schools) is monitored by the Minnesota Department of Health and Anoka County Community Health and Environmental Services Department.  Annual reports of water testing results can be obtained from the operator.

Private Water Well Testing.    The safety of a private home water well is the responsibility of the homeowner.  Homeowners are encouraged to perform an annual sanitary analysis of their well water and maintain the well in good working condition. Well water (or groundwater) is the source of drinking water for most Anoka County residents.

The Anoka County Environmental Services – Well Water Wise program encourages private well owners to annually test their wells and maintain their wellhead, property and neighborhood to prevent pollutants from reaching their well.   See Anoka County’s Well Water Testing webpage for more information.

Public Water Supply.    A Public Water Supply (PWS) system serves water to at least 25 persons (or 15 connections) for at least 60 days annually.  Such PWS systems may be publicly or privately owned.  In Anoka County there are more than 280 public water systems supplying water to a few park visitors or the residents and businesses in an entire city.

Municipal Public Water Suppliers

Until recently, public utilities have relied on regular testing to guarantee that our water remains safe to drink.  However, testing has found that pollution is damaging the source of drinking water in areas throughout the nation including some areas in Anoka County.  It’s too late to prevent pollution after it is found in a well; which is why public water suppliers are implementing wellhead protection programs.

Wellhead Protection.    Drinking water protection starts with protecting the source of water. Throughout most of Anoka County that means protecting the water supply well and the groundwater drawn into the well.  This is called wellhead protection.  Wellhead protection has a simple goal: prevent pollution of the immediate source of our drinking water.  Public water suppliers (e.g. cities, mobiles home parks, schools, shopping centers) have developed (or are developing) a plan to address pollution sources within their wellhead protection areas.

A wellhead protection program identifies a protection area — called the Drinking Water Supply Management Area (DWSMA) — based on property lines, roads or other easily identified boundaries.  There can be hundreds or thousands of properties within a DWSMA.  Potential sources of pollution to the groundwater (e.g. leaking fuel oil tanks and abandoned wells) within the DWSMA are identified.  Public water suppliers are required to implement measures to protect groundwater or wells that are vulnerable to pollution.  Land owners are notified and urged to cooperate in protecting the source of our drinking water. Go to the Anoka County DWSMA map application to see the DWSMAs in your neighborhood.  

The communities of Columbia Heights and Hilltop obtain their drinking water from the Mississippi River.  The protection goal (pollution prevention) is the same for these communities having a different source of water.

For more information, see:

Powered by WordPress