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Free nitrate testing for well water on April 26

nitrate testing in scott county

If you get your water from a household well, you are among the thousands of people in Scott County who rely on groundwater reserves for their drinking water, and you should consider getting your water tested for nitrates. The Scott SWCD is offering free nitrate testing for well water this spring.

When | Friday, April 26th 2024

8:00am - 5:30pm

Where | Scott SWCD

Scott County Fairgrounds Building 18 

7151 W 190th St. 

Jordan, MN 55352

Nitrate is a common contaminant found in many wells throughout Minnesota. Common sources of nitrate include old or improperly maintained septic systems, livestock waste, fertilizer runoff from farm fields and lawns, and erosion of natural deposits. The wells that are most vulnerable to nitrates are wells that are shallow or dug, wells with damaged casings, and wells located in areas with sandy soils.


High levels of nitrates in drinking water can cause serious health risks to infants and older adults. Nitrates affect how oxygen is carried throughout the blood, so it is especially important to test if infants will be using the water. Even if you had your well water tested in the past, it is recommended to test it every two years, as nitrate levels can fluctuate.  


Want your water tested? 


For testing, bring a water sample to the free walk-in clinic at the Scott County Fairgrounds in Jordan, MN.  This event is supported by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Scott SWCD. It is held in conjunction with the Scott SWCD's tree pickup. This clinic is free and open to the public; no appointments are necessary.

When | Friday, April 26th from 8:00am - 5:30pm

Where | Scott SWCD

Scott County Fairgrounds Building 18 7151 W 190th St Jordan, MN 55352

How to take your sample

NOTE: For best results, collect your water sample anytime within 24 hours of the clinic and keep the water cool.

  1. Run the cold tap faucet for three minutes

  2. Collect about one cup of water in a clean glass jar or other container. (Disposable containers are OK but recyclable/glass containers are preferred)

You may also collect neighbors’ or relatives’ samples and bring them in for analysis. Participants can bring in as many samples as they would like.

If you have a water treatment unit that reduces or removes nitrate—such as a reverse osmosis unit or a distiller—feel free to collect a sample before treatment and after treatment to ensure your system is working properly. If you have a water softener in your home, it is not necessary to collect a sample from that before treatment, as softeners do not reduce nitrate.

On the day of the clinic

Scott SWCD technicians will take your sample from you and test it, which will take approximately 2-4 minutes. Participants will be asked to provide the approximate address where the water was collected so we may track any nitrate spikes recorded. To make the process go by as smooth as possible, residents are encouraged to arrive with their water sample AND a piece of paper detailing their name and the address where the sample was taken.

Once the test is complete, the technician will return your results to you.


Testing for other parameters available in the County

If you are interested in testing your well water for parameters other than nitrates, Scott County Environmental Services offers well water testing throughout the year for a nominal fee. Testing parameters include coliform bacteria/nitrate+nitrite, fluoride, manganese, arsenic, and lead.

For more information on testing with the environmental services department, call 952-496-8177 or email Ben Troop at


Want to test your water elsewhere?

If you are interested in other ways to test your well water, please visit the Minnesota Department of Health's page on Well Testing, Results, and Options, which lists certified well testing labs and provides instructions for submitting a well water sample.



For questions regarding Scott County’s 2024 nitrate clinic, contact the Scott SWCD at 952-492-5448 or email at



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