Free bacteria tests for private well owners impacted by flooding
Dakota County is offering free coliform bacteria testing on private well water impacted by flooding. Wells can be flooded by rising rivers, streams, ponds and lakes as well as melting snow in low-lying areas. Wells located in well pits and basement offsets can be impacted by melting snow or heavy rainfall that may enter the basement or well pit.
Owners of flooded wells should contact Environmental Resources at 952-891-7000.
Protect your private well from flooding
Owners can protect the well prior to flooding by covering the well with a heavy plastic bag or sheeting secured with electrical tape.
Flood waters entering a well can contaminate the well with bacteria and debris.
Well owners should shut off power to the well pump before the well is flooded. If a well is flooded and the power source for the well is not disconnected, owners should avoid approaching the well as it may pose an electrical hazard.
After the well is flooded
The water should not be used for drinking, cooking or brushing teeth until sediment or debris is cleaned out and the well disinfected.
A well contractor should be hired to clean debris from the well since attempting to use the pump in the well containing debris may cause it to fail.
Staff from Environmental Resources' Groundwater Protection Unit can provide technical assistance on flooded well questions. Additional information is included on the Minnesota Department of Health News Release.