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  • Writer's pictureShelby Roberts

Free nitrate testing for well water on April 28

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 Soil and Water Conservation District is offering free nitrate testing for well water on Friday, April 28 at the Scott County Fairgrounds.

Nitrate is a common contaminant found in many wells throughout Minnesota. It can get into your drinking water from septic tank leaks, sewage, fertilizer runoff, and erosion of natural deposits. The wells that are most vulnerable to nitrates are shallow or dug wells, wells with damaged casings, and wells located in areas with sandy soils.

High levels of nitrates in drinking water can cause serious health risk to infants and 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 have had your well water tested in the past, it is recommended that you get the water tested every two years, as nitrate levels can fluctuate year-to-year.

Want your water tested?

For free testing, bring a water sample to the free walk-in clinic at the Scott County Fairgrounds in Jordan. This event is supported by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Scott Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and is held in conjunction with the Scott SWCD tree pickup and seedling sale. This clinic is free and open to the public; no appointments are necessary.

When | Friday, April 28th from 8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Where | Scott SWCD

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

How to take your sample

  1. Run the cold tap faucet for three minutes

  2. Collect about one cup of water in a plastic baggie (double bagged) or a clean disposable water bottle/glass jar.

Collect the water anytime within 24 hours of the clinic and keep the water cool. You may also collect neighbors’ or relatives’ samples and bring them in for analysis.

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.

Park anywhere in the fairgrounds paved parking lot and walk your sample into Fairgrounds Building 18. Scott SWCD technicians will take your sample from you and test it. This will take approximately 2-3 minutes. Once the test is complete, the technician will return your results to you.

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.

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 2023 nitrate clinic, contact the Scott SWCD at 952-492-5425 or online at

For more information on Nitrates, visit:


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