Source Water Protection Awards
Source Water Protection
Every year the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Rural Water Association jointly recognize public water suppliers who demonstrate outstanding commitment to protecting their drinking water source. The winner and finalists are announced at the Minnesota Rural Water Conference in March and are presented a Governor-signed certificate in their hometowns.
Nominating an Outstanding Public Water Supplier
Fill out and submit a Nomination Form (PDF) to nominate an outstanding public water supplier. The form includes instructions. The public water supplier must have an approved source water protection plan.
Nominations are accepted from November 1- January 15 of each year.
Winners and Finalists
Congratulations to the 2019 winner and finalists listed below! Previous winners and finalists are listed in the archive.
Winner - Stearns County Soil and Water District (SWCD)
This year's Source Water Protection Award winner is Stearns County SWCD. We recognize Stearns County SWCD for its exceptional efforts to protect drinking water sources. Stearns County SWCD supports its public water suppliers by:
- Collaborating on various wellhead protection activities. Stearns County SWCD has a delegated Source Water Protection position. This staff member supports systems with activities such as water testing, field demonstrations, and community education and outreach.
- Sharing technical expertise to help inventory potential contaminant sources. Staff provide technical support in collecting data, creating maps, and developing databases. These efforts help systems identify, locate, and manage potential contaminant sources.
- Participating in grant writing and implementation. Stearns County SWCD contributes to successful Source Water Protection grants. They review grant applications to ensure they are complete and accurate. They also take part in implementing grant activities.
Finalist - City of Georgetown
- Ensured sufficient, continuous water supply during power outages. The city secured grant funds to buy an emergency generator and transfer switch.
- Conducted extensive searches to locate old municipal wells. Old, abandoned wells can be sealed in the future to protect source water quality.
- Created and hand-delivered educational materials to residents. These materials explain the importance of source water protection and of locating unused wells.
Finalist - Elk River Municipal Utilities
- Responded to a potential water quality threat. The utility located and sealed an abandoned well near a municipal well that posed a risk to the safety of the public water supply.
- Promoted groundwater conservation. Elk River Municipal Utilities collaborated with the city of Elk River and Sherburne SWCD to create a groundwater budget. The utility issued almost $5,000 in rebates for water-efficient fixtures in 2018.
- Reviews development plans in the wellhead protection area. Utility staff review stormwater pond designs in development plans. They ensure the proposed ponds provide adequate treatment to protect drinking water sources.