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.
For more information on water quality, see the Dakota County Groundwater Quality map.
Most residents of Dakota County get their water from their city water supply. These systems are regulated and frequently tested. Federal, state and local agencies all have roles in protecting public drinking water supplies.
All public water supplies must develop a source water protection plan to keep drinking water clean and abundant for years to come. This is to protect vulnerable land in the Drinking Water Supply Management Area (DWSMA) — which is the area on the surface or subsurface that can directly impact the city's drinking water. It's important that we all do our part to protect the drinking water, see if you live in the area by using the DWSMA web application.
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 report on their website.
A growing concern for municipal wells is the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The chemicals are a concern because they:
- Do not break down in the environment
- Can move through soils and contaminate drinking water sources
- Build up in fish and wildlife
For more information on PFAS testing, go to the Minnesota Department of Health website.
Private well owners are responsible for the safety of their water. Regular testing and well maintenance are 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.
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.