Environmental Health Division: Highlights - EH: Minnesota Department of Health

Environmental Health Division

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WaterWays Exhibit

The Water/Ways traveling exhibition and community engagement initiative is now in Lanesboro from January 7 through February 19, 2017. From there, the exhibition and initiative moves on to Becker County Historical Society (Detroit Lake) from February 25 to April 9, 2017. Randy Ellingboe, Drinking Water Protection Manager, cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony last Saturday.

Water/Ways is a traveling exhibition and community engagement initiative of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program emphasizing relationships between people and water. The exhibit is touring the state in partnership with the Minnesota Humanities Center and many state partners, including the Minnesota Department of Health.

We encourage you to check it out and visit when you get a chance. Learn more about the Water/Ways project.

Water Action Week ~ April 17 - 23, 2016

Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed April 17 – 23, 2016, to be Water Action Week in Minnesota. Throughout the week, Governor Dayton will visit school classrooms, water treatment facilities, research institutions, and farms to encourage Minnesotans to learn more about the challenges facing Minnesota’s waters, and empower every individual to take actions in their own lives to be part of the solution. For more information, see:

$220 Million Plan to Modernize Minnesota's Aging Water Infrastructure and Protect Water Quality

For many of Minnesota's smaller communities, the cost of replacing infrastructure that was built decades ago can be significant. Without state assistance, it is estimated that Minnesotans in these communities could see their water and sewer bills double or even triple to cover the cost of necessary improvements, making it challenging for communities to keep and attract residents and businesses. On January 14th, Governor Dayton announced his plan to provide funding to help face that challenge. See the full story:

Updated County Well Index Online Launched

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has launched a new Online interface for accessing information on wells and borings in Minnesota. Then new interface, known as the Minnesota Well Index (MWI), replaces the old County Well Index (CWI) Online and provides an updated and expanded Web application to improve well and boring information retrieval capabilities.

Just like CWI Online, MWI provides access to CWI which is a database that contains over 500,000 well and borings records in Minnesota. MWI now also provides access to well sealing records as well as other information maintained by MDH such as water chemistry and scanned records.

MWI was created as part of an effort to enhance the CWI with funding provided by state legislature through the Clean Water Fund. In addition to the development of MWI, the CWI database was updated, over 100,000 well records were entered or updated and another 90,000 additional records were scanned.

The next phase, currently underway, will provide a secure login for well contractors and others to submit notifications and permits, pay fees, and enter and manage records online. It is also the intent to make MWI more mobile device friendly.

For more information about MWI, please contact MDH's Well Management Section at 651 201-4600 or health.minnesotawellindex@state.mn.us.

Microbial Risk Assessment Project

Sampling has begun on a two year microbial risk assessment project sponsored by the MDH Health Risk Assessment Unit in partnership with the University of Minnesota. Sampling for a storm water collection system for irrigation is starting, and the University will also be studying a rainwater collection system for flushing toilets. The samples will be analyzed to characterize the microbial population in the water of the systems over time and under varying weather conditions, with a particular interest in human pathogen content. The goal is to provide a health risk context for water reuse in Minnesota.

For Environmental Health information in other languages, visit the Environmental Protection Agency's multilingual websites at:
EPA Chinese | EPA Chinese (Simple) | EPA Spanish | EPA Korean |  EPA Vietnamese

Updated Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 11:22AM