Well Issues

Scott County is not a delegated well county. If you have questions regarding a specific well, it is best to contact the Well Management Section at the Minnesota Department of Health. 


Disinfecting your well can eliminate or reduce many kinds of harmful bacteria and viruses as well as non-harmful bacteria that can cause unpleasant tastes and odors. Disinfection will not correct water problems caused by chemical contamination from nitrate, fuels, pesticides or other substances. Well disinfection should be performed:

  • After the well is constructed
  • When coliform bacteria are present in the water
  • After plumbing installation (softeners, sinks, filters)
  • After casing or pump repairs
  • When drinking water tastes or odors change
  • After flooding of the well


Testing your well is recommended by the Department of Health and Scott County for the following contaminants:


Testing Frequency

Coliform Bacteria



Every other year


At least once


At least once


At least once before a baby is to drink the water

You can test your water by purchasing a well test kit through the County or be having your water tested through a MDH accredited lab. View a list of MDH-accredited labs (PDF).

Unused Wells

Unused or abandoned wells are a potential threat to health, safety and the environment. The State of Minnesota has required that abandoned or unused well be sealed by a State of Minnesota licensed well contractor.

When a well is not being used, it must be brought back into use, sealed, or annually permitted as an unused well by the State. Under Minnesota State law, a seller failing to properly disclose a well is liable for well sealing costs for up to six years after the date of the sale.

A well must be sealed if it meets any of the following conditions:

  • Is not in use
  • Is contaminated
  • Was improperly sealed in the past
  • Threatens the quality of the groundwater
  • Poses a health or safety threat

Sealing is the process of clearing debris from the well and filling it with grout. Don’t try to do it yourself. A licensed well contractor has the legal authority, necessary equipment, and expertise to properly seal unused wells. The well contractor will complete all the necessary paperwork including permits. The contractor provides the well owner a Well and Boring Sealing Record that is a legal document for the sealing of the well.

The Scott County SWCD may be able to offer help in cost sharing in the sealing of an unused well. Learn more about the Technical Assistance Cost Share Program.