Root River SWCD is part of a six county grant from the Minnesota Department of Health to address drinking water quality for private well users. The Safe Drinking Water for Private Well Users grant provides financial assistance to private well owners to address drinking water quality concerns in their private wells. The grant provides funding to eligible landowners or renters to replace, reconstruct, or treat drinking water supplies that are contaminated with nitrate-nitrogen. To be eligible for financial assistance, the private water supply must be at or above the state and federal drinking water standards of 10 milligrams per liter (mg/L) of nitrate-nitrogen.

In an effort to help private well owners manage their water quality, Root River Soil and Water Conservation District is able to offer a free test kit for your private well water. All material required to sample and ship will be provided to you at no cost. If it has been one year since you last had your well water tested for nitrates, we highly suggest taking advantage of this opportunity, as nitrate testing should be performed every other year.

Sample test kits will include sample bottles, sampling instructions, and a short survey. After you have collected the sample, you will send it in a pre-paid package to the Southeastern Minnesota Water Analysis Laboratory (SEMWAL). The lab will analyze your sample for nitrate-nitrogen, nitrite-nitrogen, chloride, sulfate, and fluoride. A test report will be mailed back to you within three weeks of analysis. A fact sheet regarding the analytes present in your water will also be provided, along with treatment options, if necessary.

The data from the test will be summarized in a report. Your name and address will not be used for anything other than our internal records. However, your well location and sampling results are not legally considered private and could be subject to disclosure. We do not have the authority to regulate private wells – thus, you will not be required to take action (i.e. drill a new well or install a treatment system) should your water have elevated results.

If you are eligible or have further questions please contact Jean Meiners, Root River SWCD office, 507- 724-5261 ext. 3, meinersja24@gmail.com. Financial Assistance Application Instructions can also be found on the Root River SWCD webpage, https://www.co.houston.mn.us/departments/soil-and-water.

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