Residents can conduct annual water testing through the County. Water testing is an inexpensive and effective way of assuring a safe and healthy water supply.
Water testing is required when there is a property transaction that includes any wells. When there is a property transaction, Dakota County requires that water samples be collected by an independent third party (County personnel, agent of a certified lab, well contractor or septic system compliance inspector).
State and local health authorities recommend that private drinking water supplies are tested annually for total coliform bacteria and nitrate. Well owners may also consider a pesticide screen and immunoassay screen to confirm pesticides and breakdown products of pesticides in a water sample.
Routine testing for coliform bacteria and nitrate
Residents interested in routine testing for coliform bacteria and nitrate can get water test kits in the following ways:
- Pick up a water test kit at the Dakota County Extension Office, 4100 220th Street, Farmington.
- Pick up a water test kit at the Dakota County Water Resources Department, Western Service Center, 14955 Galaxie Avenue, Apple Valley.
- Request that a water test kit be mailed—call Dakota County at 952-891-7000 or order a private water supply test kit.
Cost of testing
Dakota County sends samples to a state-certified laboratory to test for the following contaminants:
- Coliform bacteria and nitrate – $35
- Coliform bacteria only – $18
- Nitrate only – $18
- Manganese – $18
- Arsenic – $18
- Lead – $18
- Fluoride – $18
- Pesticide screening – $60
For pesticide screening tests, Dakota County requires prepayment and checks only, payable to: Heidelberg College. A specific sample kit and procedure is required for the pesticide screening test. Mail payment to Dakota County Water Resources Department, Western Service Center, 14955 Galaxie Avenue, Apple Valley, MN 55124.
Find out more about these drinking water contaminants.
A check or money order should be made payable to: Dakota County Property Taxation & Records Department. You may request that the County collect both water samples. The County charges $125 for collecting a water sample, plus the cost of testing. Call 952-891-7000 for more information.
Collecting your own sample
Carefully follow the water sample collection instructions inside the test kit. You can also see instructional videos on how to collect the sample:
Water samples may be taken to any one of three drop-off locations. The samples should be delivered on or before the times listed for each location. Samples cannot be accepted if received after the delivery deadline.
The following schedule is in effect each week except on holidays:
Wednesday - Western Service Center, Apple Valley
Water Resources Department (third floor)
14955 Galaxie Ave
Apple Valley, MN 55124
Delivery Deadline: Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Wednesdays before 9 a.m.
Wednesday - Dakota County Extension, Farmington
4100 220th Street West
Farmington, MN 55024
Delivery Deadline: Tuesdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Wednesdays before 10 a.m.
Tuesday – Northern Service Center, West St. Paul
Public Health Department
1 Mendota Rd W Ste 410
West St. Paul, MN 55118
Delivery Deadline: Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-noon