Well Management
Special Well and Boring Construction Areas

(Formerly known as Special Well Construction Areas and before that "Well Advisories.")

Click image to enlarge. SWBCA state map

What is a Special Well and Boring Construction Area?

A Special Well and Boring Construction Area is sometimes also called a well advisory. It is a mechanism which provides for controls on the drilling or alteration of public and private water supply wells, and monitoring wells in an area where groundwater contamination has, or may, result in risks to the public health. The purposes of a Special Well and Boring Construction Area are to inform the public of potential health risks in areas of groundwater contamination, provide for the construction of safe water supplies, and prevent the spread of contamination due to the improper drilling of wells or borings.

Why are Special Well and Boring Construction Areas Important?

The improper location, construction or sealing of a well or boring in an area of groundwater contamination may allow contaminants to spread to otherwise protected aquifers. The designation as a special well and boring construction area alerts the public, including property owners, drilling contractors, and local officials, to the occurrence of groundwater contamination, and the need to place special controls on the drilling of new wells and the modifications of existing wells. It provides information on the contamination source, contaminants encountered, aquifers affected, and necessary restrictions. It also allows affected parties, including local units of government, to be aware of and to respond to the contamination problem.

Rules Pertaining to Special Well and Boring Construction Areas

The rules pertaining to the construction of wells and borings place minimum restrictions on the location, construction, repair, and sealing of wells and borings. Special construction requirements are authorized in rule and statute in areas of known or suspected contamination. In order to provide safe water it may be necessary to require the construction of deeper wells, employ special construction techniques, conduct specialized testing, or require special water treatment procedures. Contractors proposing to drill any well or boring in an advisory area must contact the Minnesota Department of Health, Well Management Section prior to construction. Contractors and property owners must submit a written request and well construction plan to the MDH and must receive written approval before construction, repair, or sealing of a well in the special well and boring construction area.

Harmful Substances Compensation Program

The Harmful Substances Compensation Program, administered by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), may provide compensation for injuries or property damage related to exposure to harmful substances. Information on eligibility and how to file a claim is available at: Harmful Substances Compensation Program (PDF: 56KB/3 pages) or by contacting Mr. Gary Krueger of the MPCA at 651-757-2509.

For Sale or Transfer of Property in Washington County

Minnesota Statutes, section 103I.236, states “Before signing an agreement to sell or transfer real property in Washington County that is not served by a municipal water system, the seller must state in writing to the buyer whether, to the seller’s knowledge, the property is located within a special well and boring construction area designated by the commissioner of health under Minnesota Rules, part 4725.3650. If the disclosure under section 103I.235, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), states that there is an unsealed well on the property, the disclosure required under this clause must be made regardless of whether the property is served by a municipal system.”

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Special Well and Boring Construction Areas (Well Advisories)

Anoka County

  • East Bethel Sanitary Landfill - effective March 15, 1998 - E 1/2 Section 8, W 1/2 Section 9, W 1/2 of NE 1/4 of Section 9, W 1/2 & SE 1/4, Section 9, Township 33 North, Range 23 West; in the city of East Bethel, Anoka County.
  • Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP) - effective July 1, 1996, revised June 1999 - Parts of Sections 4, 9, 16 and 33, and all of Sections 7, 8, 17-22, and 27-32, Township 30 North, Range 23 West, Ramsey County; parts of Sections 4, 9, 16 and 31, and all of Sections 5-8,17-20, and 29-32, Township 29 North, Range 23 West, Ramsey and Hennepin Counties; parts of Sections 12, 13 and 24, all of Sections 25 and 36, Township 30 North, Range 24 West, Anoka County; and parts of Sections 14 and 23-25, and all of Sections 1, 12, and 13, Township 29 North, Range 24 West, Hennepin County.

Beltrami County

  • Northern Township - effective August 12, 1991 - Parts of Sections 32 and 33, Township 147 North, Range 33 West, Beltrami County.

  • Eckles Township - effective September 1, 2006 - Sections 13, 14, 23, and 24, Township 147, Range 34, Beltrami County.

Blue Earth County

  • Le Hillier - effective September 1981 - Parts of Sections 14 and 23, Township 108 North, Range 27 West, Blue Earth County.

Dakota County

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Hennepin County

  • CMC Heartland Lite Yard Site - effective April 1, 2005 - This area includes the area bounded by East 26th Street on the north, 26th Avenue on the east, Lake Street on the south, and Bloomington Avenue South on the west, within the city of Minneapolis. This area includes the southeast quartile of Section 35 and the southwest quartile of Section 36 of Township 29, Range 24, Hennepin County.

  • Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP) - effective July 1, 1996, revised June 1999 - Parts of Sections 4, 9, 16 and 33, and all of Sections 7, 8, 17-22, and 27-32, Township 30 North, Range 23 West, Ramsey County; parts of Sections 4, 9, 16 and 31, and all of Sections 5-8,17-20, and 29-32, Township 29 North, Range 23 West, Ramsey and Hennepin Counties; parts of Sections 12, 13 and 24, all of Sections 25 and 36, Township 30 North, Range 24 West, Anoka County; and parts of Sections 14 and 23-25, and all of Sections 1, 12, and 13, Township 29 North, Range 24 West, Hennepin County.

Houston County

Lake County

  • Former Finland Air Force Station - effective February 15, 2014 - All of Sections 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, East half (northeast quarter and southeast quarter) Section 6, West half (northwest quarter and southwest quarter) of Section 10, Northwest quarter of Section 16, and Northeast quarter of Section 17, Township 57 North, Range 7 West; all of Section 33, South half (southeast quarter and the southwest quarter) of Section 28, Southeast quarter of Section 29, and the Northeast, southeast, and southwest quarters of Section 32, Township 58 North, Range 7 West; Lake County.

Otter Tail County

  • Perham - effective February 15, 2007 - South half of Section 14 and that portion of Section 23 north of State Highway 10 on Township 136 North, Range 39 West, Otter Tail County.

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Ramsey County

  • Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP) - effective July 1, 1996, revised June 1999 - Parts of Sections 4, 9, 16 and 33, and all of Sections 7, 8, 17-22, and 27-32, Township 30 North, Range 23 West, Ramsey County; parts of Sections 4, 9, 16 and 31, and all of Sections 5-8,17-20, and 29-32, Township 29 North, Range 23 West, Ramsey and Hennepin Counties; parts of Sections 12, 13 and 24, all of Sections 25 and 36, Township 30 North, Range 24 West, Anoka County; and parts of Sections 14 and 23-25, and all of Sections 1, 12, and 13, Township 29 North, Range 24 West, Hennepin County.

Todd County

  • Long Prairie - effective January 1, 2007 - This area is bounded on the north by a line beginning at the intersection of County Road 5 and Ninth Street Northeast and extending due west to the Long Prairie River (the city of Long Prairie boundary), Ninth Street Northeast/Ninth Street Southeast on the east, Second Avenue Southeast on the south, and the Long Prairie River and State Aid Highway 71 on the west. The SWCA is within the limits of the city of Long Prairie and is within the west half of the southwest quartile of Section 16, the southeast quartile of Section 17 (that portion east of the Long Prairie River), the northeast quartile of Section 20, and the west half of the northwest quartile of Section 21 of Township 129 North, Range 33 West, Todd County.

Washington County

Note: For Sale or Transfer of Property in Washington County
Minnesota Statutes, section 103I.236, states “Before signing an agreement to sell or transfer real property in Washington County that is not served by a municipal water system, the seller must state in writing to the buyer whether, to the seller’s knowledge, the property is located within a special well and boring construction area designated by the commissioner of health under Minnesota Rules, part 4725.3650. If the disclosure under section 103I.235, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), states that there is an unsealed well on the property, the disclosure required under this clause must be made regardless of whether the property is served by a municipal system.”

  • Baytown/West Lakeland Townships - effective May 6, 1988, revised March 30, 2005 - and cities of Bayport and Lake Elmo - South 1/2 of Sections 7 and 8; Sections 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, and North 1/2 of Section 19, Township 29 North, Range 20 West; and Section 13, Township 29 North, Range 21 West, Washington County.

  • Lake Elmo/Oakdale - effective March 15, 2007 - All of Sections 14-16, 19-23, and 26-35 and portions of Sections 9-11, 13, 17-18, and 24, Township 29 North, Range 21 West, Washington County. This designation is an expansion and renaming of the existing Washington County Landfill SWCA, originally established in 1982. This expansion includes the Oakdale disposal site.

  • Lakeland/Lakeland Shores - effective December 16, 1987 - Parts of Sections 33, 34, and 35, Township 29 North, Range 20 West, and parts of Sections 2, 3, and 4, Township 28 North, Range 20 West, Washington County.

  • St. Paul Park and Newport - effective November 1, 1997 - Parts of Sections 1, 2, 11, and 12 in Township 27 North, Range 22 West, Washington County.

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Questions?
Contact the MDH Well Management Section
651-201-4600 or 800-383-9808
health.wells@state.mn.us

Minnesota Department of Health
Updated Friday, 31-Jan-2014 15:25:49 CST