Safe Clean Drinking Water Fact Sheet - EH: Minnesota Department of Health

Safe Clean Drinking Water Available Across Minnesota

Safe Drinking Water Is No Accident
Safe Drinking Water Is a Team Effort

Download a print version of this document: Safe Clean Drinking Water (PDF: 3.52MB/2 pages)

It's because of the efforts of many people-including you-that we can have such confidence in the water we drink.

Treatment by Your Utility

Water Plant Operator

Water treatment goes back thousands of years although early forms consisted of little more than boiling and filtering the water.

In the mid-1800s the transmission of disease through drinking water was discovered. Water utilities in the United States began disinfecting water in the 20th century. The results were dramatic-a great decline in waterborne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, dysentery, and hepatitis, which had caused thousands of deaths throughout the country and still do in countries that don't treat their water.

The treatment and disinfection of drinking water has saved more lives than all the doctors and hospitals in history.

Role of the Minnesota Department of Health

  • Enforcement of Federal Safe Drinking Water Standards
  • Training and Technical Assistance for Water Operators
  • Testing and Inspection of Public Water Systems
  • Certification of Testing Laboratories

The Minnesota Department of Health regularly checks your water for more than 80 different biological and chemical contaminants. As a result, the water you get from your tap has been tested as thoroughly as water from any other source, including bottled water.

Kid at Water FountainJoin the Safe Water TeamUse water wisely
Learn about simple ways of conserving this valuable resource so you can use it but not waste it

Care for the environment
Pollution can harm water supplies, both surface sources such as rivers and lakes as well as underground sources such as groundwater and springs.

Take an active role in protecting drinking water
Support legislation that protects drinking water supplies and promotes treatment and testing of our drinking water.

Remember . . .
Don't take safe drinking water for granted. We all depend on it, and it depends on all of us.


In Minnesota-and throughout the United States-we have a safe, reliable, and affordable source of drinking water that is necessary for:

  • Health
  • Productivity
  • Our Entire Way of Life

Minnesota Water Facts

  • More than 3 million Minnesotans are served by public water systems. Even those who have private wells for water in the home still rely on public water systems for their drinking water at work, school, church, or while traveling throughout the state.
  • Minnesota has nearly 10,000 public water systems, the sixth highest number in the nation. An abundance of groundwater is the reason for this. Minnesota is knows as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes." But there's also plenty of water under the ground.
  • The Minnesota Department of Health is the agency responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. First passed by Congress in 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act sets health and safety standards for public drinking water in the United States. Even prior to action at the national level, however, Minnesota had stringent requirements in place for public water systems in the state.

    How is it that water, which is so very useful that life is impossible without it, has such a low price while diamonds, which are quite unnecessary, have such a high price?
    Adam Smith from The Wealth of Nations

Updated Friday, July 17, 2015 at 01:58PM