Well Partners - EH: Minnesota Department of Health

Well Partners
Well Management Program

Private Well Users are in Every County

Five images of a person. One person is green while the other four are blue.

About one in five Minnesotans (1.2 million people) get their drinking water from a private well. There are private well users in every county in Minnesota.

Each green dot is where there is a known drinking water well (2018).






Figure 1: Each green dot is where there is a known drinking water well (2018).





Private Well Users Have to Take Extra Steps to Protect Their Health

Unlike people who get their drinking water from a public water system, private well users are responsible for regularly testing their well water and treating it when necessary. They are responsible for making sure their water is safe for everyone in their household. Minnesota Department of Health testing recommendations are below.

Protect your health! Test your well water for: Coliform Bacteria every year, Nitrate every other year, arsenic, at least once, lead at least once, and manganese before a baby drinks the water. Testing is even more important if young children drink the water.

The contaminants listed above are common in Minnesota well water and can lead to short- and long-term health effects. You cannot taste, smell, or see most of these contaminants, and water quality can change over time.

You Can Help Private Well Users Protect Their Health

Local partners play an important role in helping protect private well users’ health. You are a trusted source of information and have contact with people who get their drinking water from a private well. To help protect the health of private well users in your community, please take the following actions and check out the resources that may be of interest.

Actions all partners can take

  • Promote regular well testing through:
    • Your webpage
    • Social media
    • Fairs and other community events
    • Postcards or letters
    • Ads: radio, newspaper, social media, or television
  • Share Minnesota Department of Health educational materials. We have a lot of information available about how to test well water, how to maintain your well, contaminants in drinking water, and what to do if you have a contaminant in your drinking water.
  • Provide Minnesota Department of Health contact information. Let private well users know they can contact us if they have questions about their well or water quality. They can contact us at health.wells@state.mn.us or 651-201-4600 or 800-383-9808.
  • Contact us with questions about private wells, water testing, or ideas for outreach.
  • Collaborate with local agencies and organizations to promote well testing. Ideas include medical providers, local government, WIC clinics, childcare providers, Soil and Water Conservations Districts, watershed districts, laboratories, environmental services, water treatment professionals, University Extension, libraries, and schools.

Actions and resources for specific partners

In the next few months, we will have additional resources and more recommendations for:

  • Accredited Laboratories
  • Family Child Cares
  • Licensed Well Contractors
  • Local Public Health
  • Medical Professionals
  • Real Estate Professionals

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Contact the MDH Well Management Section
651-201-4600 or 800-383-9808

Minnesota Department of Health
Updated Wednesday, 05-Jan-2022 13:10:17 CST