Where does your drinking water come from?
A community effort to protect public wells
The City of Mazeppa relies on groundwater for their drinking water supply The City owns and operates wells located within the incorporated area of the community. These wells draw water from groundwater aquifers located several hundred feet underground. Groundwater aquifers are vulnerable to contamination from human land surface activities.
The City of Mazeppa is working with their citizens to protect drinking water supplies by carrying out a Wellhead Protection plan This plan has been prepared in conjunction with several local, county and state agencies. The Minnesota Department of Health is the lead agency for the State’s program and will assist communities with defining wellhead protection areas and developing plans to protect wells. Minnesota Rural Water Association, in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, provides technical assistance to public water suppliers to help meet the system’s wellhead protection goals.
For more wellhead protection information, contact the MN Rural Water Association at (800) 367-6792.
Most Minnesotans get drinking water from wells
How do wells become polluted?
Wells become polluted when substances that are harmful to human health get into the groundwater. Water from these wells can be dangerous to drink when the level of pollution rises above health standards. Many of our everyday activities can cause pollution. Much can be done to prevent pollution, such as wise use of land and chemicals. The expense of treating polluted water or drilling new wells can also be avoided. Help avoid drinking water contamination by being an environmentally aware citizen.
What is Groundwater?
Groundwater is the water that fills the small spaces between rock particles (sand, gravel, etc.) or cracks in solid rock. Rain, melting snow, or surface water be- comes groundwater by seeping into the ground and filling these spaces. The top of the water-saturated zone is called the” water table.”
When water seeps in from the surface and reaches the water table, it begins moving towards points where it can escape, such as wells, rivers, or lakes. An aquifer is any type of geologic material, such as sand or sandstone, which can supply water wells or springs.
The groundwater, which supplies wells, often comes from within a short distance (a few miles) of the well. How fast groundwater moves depends on how much the well is pumped and what type of rock particles or bedrock it is moving through.
How is a Wellhead Protection Plan Implemented?
Action strategies were developed locally to protect the drinking water supply of your community and are identified in Part II of the Wellhead Protection (WHP) Plan.
Steps to implement a WHP Plan include:
- EDUCATE the citizens through brochures, media and local events about what Wellhead Protection is.
- Create AWARENESS about local groundwater conditions and how the drinking water supply can be protected.
- Citizens will take OWNERSHIP in how their actions can impact the public water supply.
- Citizens will then support and adopt voluntary changes in LAND USE that will help protect drinking water supplies.
What can you do?
To help implement a plan:
- Volunteer to serve on work groups and at educational events
- Help identify land uses and possible sources of contamination on your property
- Recognize and manage possible sources of contamination on your property
- Use hazardous products as directed and dispose of them properly
- Conserve water