Because nitrates are one of the most common groundwater contaminants in rural areas, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Dakota County are trying to learn more about the occurrence of nitrate in private drinking water wells in an effort to better protect local families from an excess of the contaminant.
Drinking water with high nitrate concentrations can cause serious health effects in infants, and the presence of nitrates may indicate other contaminants.
MDA provided Dakota County with a grant of $65,348 from Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment funds for the joint project, and Dakota County is partnering with an independent laboratory to conduct nitrate tests. Within the next several weeks, MN Valley Testing Lab will mail free nitrate test kits to well owners in Castle Rock, Douglas, Hampton, Marshan, Nininger, Randolph, Sciota, Vermillion and Waterford townships as well as the cities of Coates, Hampton, Hastings and Vermillion.
Well owners in those communities are invited to get their water tested for free by following the instructions in the kit mailed to them. Test results will be mailed to well owners. Well owner information will be private. The summarized results (per township or city) will be reported publicly.
For more information, call MDA’s Kimberly Kaiser at 651-201-6280 or Dakota County Groundwater Protection’s Jeff Luehrs at 952-891-7553.