Free nitrate testing for well water on April 30
Updated: Apr 26
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 should consider getting your water tested for nitrates. 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. Wells most vulnerable to nitrates are shallow or dug wells, wells with damaged casings, and wells located in areas with sandy soils where groundwater can flow quickly and sediment isn’t picked up as easily by thick soil.
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.
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 sponsored 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.
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 before that treatment, as softeners do not reduce nitrate.
Special COVID-19 notice UPDATE FROM 4/26/21: For the 2021 clinic, the Scott SWCD will implement social distanced testing. Residents interested in testing their water should bring a water sample in a disposable ziplock bag or container. Residents will then be asked to wait in their cars as Scott SWCD technicians test your sample. Once results come in from your sample, a Scott SWCD technician will deliver your results. Residents wanting to participate in the nitrate clinic must be wearing a face covering at all times while interacting with Scott SWCD Staff.
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 2021 nitrate clinic,
contact the Scott SWCD at 952-492-5448.
For more information on Nitrates, visit the MN state health website