Groundwater/Wellhead protection is a means of safeguarding public water supply wells by preventing contaminants from entering the area that contributes water to the well or well field over a period of time. The following items are things that everyone can do to help prevent groundwater contamination.
Shakopee Public Utilities has completed the development of their Wellhead Protection Plan. This plan is designed to protect the groundwater aquifers that supply the Shakopee municipal drinking water wells. The plan identifies potential sources of contamination that could pollute local groundwater wells and enter the community’s water supply. The goal of this plan is to help ensure that Shakopee Public Utilities continues to provide its customers with a safe and abundant supply of clean drinking water for generations to come. Wells can become polluted when substances that are harmful to human health get into the groundwater. Water from these wells can become dangerous to drink when the level of pollution rises above health standards. Fortunately, Shakopee Public Utilities’ water supply currently meets (and exceeds) all State and Federal drinking water standards. We regularly sample the water from our wells and provide an annual Consumer Confidence Report to residents. The Wellhead Protection Plan can only be successful if residents play a role in helping to protect the aquifer. To help us implement our plan, you can do the following:
- Help identify land uses and potential sources of contamination on your property (wells, tanks, septic systems, hazardous wastes, etc).
- Make sure any potential sources of contamination under your control meet local, state, and federal regulations.
- Seal any unused wells on your property, according to Minnesota Well Code. See the Minnesota Department of Health website for more information. Owners of active wells should refer to the Well Owner’s Handbook for proper construction, maintenance, and sampling information.
- Use hazardous products only as directed and dispose of them properly when no longer needed. Visit the Scott County website for information on handling and disposal of wastes, including information on the Scott County Household Hazardous Waste Facility.
- Practice proper turf management techniques and avoid over-fertilization of your lawns and gardens. Visit he Minnesota Department of Agriculture website for more information.
- Identify whether your property contains a Class V injection well. Information about Class V wells can be found on the EPA’s website. If you have a Class V well on your property, make sure you follow all EPA rules regarding these wells.
- Conserve water whenever possible. Lawn watering is one of the largest uses of municipal water during summer months. Tips for conserving water, while maintaining a healthy lawn, are included here.
- Report spills (or illegal dumping) of hazardous wastes, fuels, or chemicals to law enforcement.
Click to view our PROTECTING YOUR DRINKING WATER brochure. If you wish to view a copy of the Wellhead Protection Plan, contact Shakopee Public Utilities at 952-233-1503. Some other ideas for protecting our wellheads– In your workshop or garage:
- Absorbent: Always keep absorbent (oil dry) on hand to clean up spills and drips. You can also use cat litter or sawdust. Dispose of the used absorbent in a trash bag.
- Engine Oil: A gallon of used oil can contaminate up to one million gallons of drinking water. When changing the oil or other fluids in your vehicles, collect the fluids in leak-proof containers and take them to a recycling center.
- Paint: Use lead-free paint that does not contain mercury or mercuric compounds. Latex or water-based paints are safer than oil-based. If you have extra paint after a project, share it with a neighbor or contact Scott County Household Hazardous Waste for proper disposal.
Some alternatives for in your home:
- Abrasive cleaner: Mix salt, baking soda and water into a paste.
- Bleach: Substitute borax.
- Disinfectants: Mix 1/2 cup borax plus 1/2 cub rubbing alcohol in 1 gallon hot water. NEVER mix bleach and ammonia.
- Fabric Softener: Add 1/2 cup baking soda to final rinse.
- Laundry Stains: Use club soda to remove fresh blood stains and chocolate stains. Rub buttermilk into grass stains – wash as normal.
- Oven Cleaners: Dampen grimy spots and sprinkle with salt while oven is still warm. Scrape after oven cools. Greasy spots can be scrubbed with straight vinegar or a paste of baking soda and water.
- Pet Stains: Rub with 1/4 cup dish detergent in 1/4 cup vinegar. Blot dry, rinse with water.
- Silver Polish: Soak in baking soda and buttermilk, brush with toothpaste or boil for 3 minutes in 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt and a piece of aluminum foil. Rinse well in water and dry with a soft cloth.
- Toilet Cleaner: Use borax and a toilet brush.
- Window Cleaner: Mix 2 tablespoons of sudsy ammonia plus 3 drops of dish detergent in 1 quart of water. Or, use diluted white vinegar in a spray bottle. HINT – use microfiber towels for windows. Never wash them with cottons (they’ll pick up lint) and never use fabric softener on them. The fabric softener will streak your windows if you do.
In Your Yard:
- Collect and Reuse Rainwater: During a normal rainfall hundreds of gallons of water will run off a typical residential roof which will pass through gutters and into yards and storm drains. The water can pick up contaminants such as fertilizers, pesticides, automotive fluids, dirt and debris. Storm water is not treated and can carry these pollutants straight into rivers, ponds or lakes. Rain barrels can capture an amount of this water and reduce pollutants getting into waterways.
- Fertilizers: Fertilizers contain nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. The numbers on a fertilizer bag reflect the amount of these chemicals contained. A label of 10-1-4 contains 10% nitrogen, 1% phosphorous and 4% potassium. Nitrogen is the most important lawn nutrient but it can contaminate groundwater. Phosphorus can contaminate rivers, lakes and ponds causing excessive weed and algae growth. If you choose to fertilize choose a fertilizer high in Water Insoluble Nitrogen (WIN). WIN is released slowly and helps prevent “lawn burn” and groundwater contamination. WIN fertilizers cost more but they are worth it.
- Weed Control: Dandelions – dig them out. Digging 4 to 5 inches of the root will usually kill them. Crabgrass – Keep your lawn tall, at least 3 inches to shade out crabgrass. Apply crabgrass killer only when you have noticeable problems and spot treat the crabgrass, not the entire lawn. Also avoid fertilizing in July and August, this tends to grow crabgrass better than it does the lawn. Natural Weed Killer – 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of baby shampoo, 1 tablespoon of gin, 1 quart of warm water. Combine all of these ingredients into a bucket and then pour into a hand held sprayer. Drench the weeds with the solution.