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Well sampling planned for Nobles County Groundwater Atlas (published August 31, 2020)

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will collect water samples this summer from about 90 wells in Nobles County for use in the Nobles County Groundwater Atlas.

Selected well owners will be contacted by mail or phone for permission to sample their wells. The process involves collecting a water sample from an outside spigot or hydrant for laboratory analysis. Participation is voluntary. Well owners who participate will receive a report of the laboratory results.

Wells are selected based on geology, location, well depth and well construction. Participation will help the DNR create county maps and descriptions of groundwater distribution, movement, conditions, and the pollution sensitivity of aquifers. The final products will be available as printed maps, reports and geographic information system (GIS) files available on the web.

The atlas can be used to identify viable sources of drinking water, manage sustainability, guide decisions for well and septic system construction, inform well-head protection efforts for public water supply, understand regional recharge and groundwater movement, and assess pollution sensitivity and possible contaminant migration.

The Nobles County Groundwater Atlas is expected to be completed in 2023. This groundwater portion is Part B of a two-part series. Part A, the geology, will be completed by the Minnesota Geological Survey in 2021.

The County Atlas Program is funded in part by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.

A full description of this DNR program and status reports for atlas products is available at