Get your well water testedMore than 1 million people residing in more than 400,000 households in Minnesota rely on private wells as their source of drinking water.
More than 1 million people residing in more than 400,000 households in Minnesota rely on private wells as their source of drinking water. While wells can provide high quality drinking water, state health officials observe that most wells are rarely tested on a regular basis for things that can make consumers of the well water sick, such as bacteria, arsenic, or nitrate.
The Minnesota Department of Health estimates that at any given time, as many as 25 percent of private wells in Minnesota have detectable levels of total coliform bacteria, an indication that surface contamination has entered the well or water system.
MDH recommends that private wells be tested once a year for total coliform bacteria, an indicator of bacterial contamination. Testing for nitrate is recommended every two to three years – more often if nitrate has been detected previously in the well or if an infant under the age of six months will be consuming the water. In addition, MDH recommends that every well be tested for arsenic at least once.
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