Dakota County has plentiful groundwater resources, which provides drinking water for more than 90 percent of Dakota County residents. 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. See where your drinking water comes from.
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.
Private well owners are responsible for the safety of their water. Regular testing and well maintenance is recommended. The Minnesota Department of Health offers information on the importance of testing and guidance on technologies that may be used to treat or remove contaminants. For more information, see the Dakota County Groundwater Quality map.
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. 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, in general, the newer and deeper the well, the better the water quality. However, groundwater quality is influenced by human activities such as fertilizer and pesticide use and road salt application, and the quality of the well water can become degraded over time. To ensure the safety of your private water supply, regular testing is recommended.