Active Wells and Well Management

About 70 percent of Minnesotans use groundwater as their source of drinking water and careful well management is important to the sustainability of this shared resource. The responsible use of groundwater will ensure its quantity and quality for future generations. Proper management of active wells helps prevent damage to the well and reduces the possibility of water contamination. 

Protecting Groundwater 

If you have a private well, what can you do to help protect our groundwater?

  • Keep your well elevated from the soil by at least one foot.
  • Slope surrounding soil away from the well.
  • Keep your well cap securely attached.
  • Check for cracks in the casing of your well, and if damage is detected, find a licensed well contractor.
  • Keep the wellhead clear of snow, leaves, and other materials.
  • Test your water regularly for coliform bacteria and nitrates. For more information on which compounds to test for and how to find a testing facility, visit the Minnesota Department of Health website.
  • Monitor changes in the color or smell of your water.
  • Do not use household chemicals or hazardous materials within 100 feet from your well .
  • Do not construct buildings or site potential contaminant sources within the Minnesota Department of Health required setbacks.