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.

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. 

Nitrate Water Testing 

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.

For more information, call the Stearns County SWCD 320-251-7800 ext. 3

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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. 

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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