Our Public Water Supply

Everyone Benefits From Wellhead Protection

Drinking water supply management area map

Groundwater often moves very slowly.  Once it is contaminated, it may remain so for a long time, and maybe difficult and expensive to locate the source and remove the contaminant. 

The Minnesota Groundwater Protection Act of 1989 granted the Commissioner of Health authority to develop wellhead protection measures for wells serving public water supplies (this rule does not apply to private wells). This action was in response to the 1986 amendment of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act in which states are required to implement wellhead protection programs for public water supply wells.

Wellhead protection is a way to prevent contaminants from entering the area where drinking water is drawn. Specifically, community public water systems like Eagan's are required to delineate, inventory, and manage an inner wellhead management zone. Additionally, they must create a formal wellhead protection plan.

The wellhead protection planning process is broken down into two parts. Part one updates the wellhead protection area and drinking water supply management area, and re-assesses the vulnerability of the municipal wells. The Utilities Division completed part one in 2012. Part two updates the wellhead protection plan, including goals, objectives, plans of action, program evaluations, and contingency plans. Eagan began part two in early 2013 and must be done in April 2015.

While a wellhead protection plan gives public water supply purviers a useful "tool" for providing a safe drinking water supply to their customers, the long-term goals are beneficial to all residents of Minnesota. Help protect our community's valuable drinking water resource.

Anyone interested in more information about wellhead protection, may contact Jon Eaton at (651) 675-5215 or the Minnesota Department of Health Source Water Protection Unit at (651) 201-4700.