Dakota County has a plentiful supply of groundwater, which it relies upon for its drinking water supply. Ninety-one percent of Dakota County residents use groundwater for their water supply, whether it comes from a municipal water source or their own private well. However, in much of the County, this drinking water supply is highly susceptible to contamination from activities at the surface.
Most residents of Dakota County get their water from a public water system such as their city water supply. Public water systems are highly regulated and frequently tested. Federal, state and local agencies all have roles in protecting public drinking water supplies.
Each water supplier in Dakota County operates independently and is guided by federal and state regulations. Since 1996, all public water suppliers must prepare and distribute annual reports called Consumer Confidence Reports or Drinking Water Reports. These reports provide detailed information for their customers about their water treatment methods and test results. In addition to mailing these reports to residents, most Dakota County communities post their Consumer Confidence Report or Drinking Water Report on their website.
Properly constructed and maintained water wells can provide many years of trouble-free service. Since 1974, all water wells constructed in Minnesota must meet location and construction requirements specified by the Minnesota Well Code. Wells can provide safe water for many years, but as wells age, they may deteriorate and lose their ability to keep contaminants out of the water. In general, the newer and deeper the well, the better the water quality. Groundwater contamination is unlikely in private wells installed between 1994 and today, or in wells deeper than 280 feet.