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Nitrate Testing: Ways to Test Your Well Water

April 1, 2020



To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and to protect the health and safety of our customers and staff, the Scott SWCD is canceling our upcoming Nitrate Clinic that was to be held on April 24, 2020. The health and safety of our community is very important to us, and with this decision we work to keep Scott County residents safe and healthy.


At this time, we do not have a reschedule date for this testing clinic, but as we continue to monitor the situation, stay tuned for updates.


Still want to test your water?

If you are still interested in ways to test your well water, please visit the Minnesota Department of Health's page on testing options


Alternative testing options include:

- Contact a certified well testing lab (see the list on Minnesota Department of Health's website) and follow their instructions for submitting a well water sample. 

- Stay tuned with the Scott SWCD! While the future remains uncertain, the Scott SWCD website will be providing updates in regards to any rescheduled events and clinics. Check the website or subscribe to our email list to be notified as events progress. 

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 that are the 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.

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.


Why test for nitrate? 
High levels of nitrates in drinking water can cause serious health risk to infants and adults. Everyone who gets their water from a private well is encouraged to have their water tested for nitrate. But it is especially important if infants will be using the water, due to the way nitrate affects how blood carries oxygen. Even if you have had your well water tested in the past, it is recommended that you get the water tested every two years.  


For more INFO visit the Minnesota Department of Health Website



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