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Nitrate Water Testing Clinic for Stearns County Residents 

Nitrate-nitrogen (referred to as nitrate) is a common contaminant found in many wells throughout Minnesota. Shallow wells, dug wells, and wells with damaged or leaking casings are the most vulnerable to nitrate contamination. Major sources of nitrate contamination can be from fertilizers, animal waste, and human sewage. It is highly recommended to test your drinking water supply on a regular basis.

Upcoming FREE Private Well Nitrate Water Testing

Do you get your drinking water from a private well?
If so, get your water tested for FREE, with immediate results!


Date: Thursday, September 9th 

Time:  2:00PM - 7:00PM

Location: St. Joseph Township Hall

935 College Ave S, St. Joseph, MN 

Can't make the event, but still interested in getting your water sampled? 

  • There will be a cooler located outside the main door of the Township Hall the morning of the Event.  Complete the short survey, label both the water sample and survey with the same unique identification number and then place sample in the cooler. 

For more information, contact Wayne Cymbaluk (Stearns County SWCD) @ 320-345-6492

Advanced Water Testing Cost-Share Opportunity

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Bring pictures of wellhead and treatment equipment, if any. Groundwater professionals will be on site to discuss water testing results and provide guidance on wellhead or water treatment equipment. 

Collecting Your Sample

  • Run your cold tap for 5—10 minutes

  • Collect about one cup of water in a clean plastic or glass container such as a sandwich bag

  • Keep the sample cool

  • Samples should be collected less than 24 hours prior to the test

  • Samples should be collected before and after water treatment systems such reverse osmosis. Water softening will have no affect on nitrate levels.

Advanced water testing is available through Traut Wells for a small fee to test for bacteria, nitrate, and arsenic. This option is available for those who attend the clinic and bring in water samples on the day of the nitrate clinic. Traut Wells will be on site to provide water sample bottles and instructions on how to collect a water sample for further testing. 

Cost-Share Details: 

Cost: $40 per water sample ($50 is covered by the SWCD). Must be paid on site on the day of clinic (credit card, cash, and check are accepted). 

Deadline: Submit water samples to Traut Wells by September 30th. 

More Information on Nitrates

At a minimum, private wells should be tested for coliform bacteria once a year and for nitrate every two or three years. If nitrate has been detected previously, the well should be tested for nitrate every year.

Every private well should be tested at least once to determine if arsenic is present in the water, and at what levels (language provided by the Minnesota Department of Health). 



MN Department of Agriculture:

MN Department of Health:

Well Owner's Handbook - A Consumer's Guide to Water Wells in Minnesota:

In coordination with: 

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