The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database


937 systems serving 4,150,414 people

This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by water utilities in Minnesota, provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the Minnesota Department of Health- Environmental Health Division. It is part of EWG's national database that includes 47,667 drinking water utilities and 20 million test results from 45 states and the District of Columbia. Water utilities nationwide detected more than 300 pollutants between 2004 and 2009. More than half of these chemicals are unregulated, legal in any amount. Despite this widespread contamination, the federal government invests few resources in protecting rivers, reservoirs, and groundwater from pollution in the first place. The information below summarizes drinking water quality for this state.

Water Utilities
Population Served
Detected Chemicals
Exceed health guidelines*
Exceed Legal Limits*
Unregulated chemicals detected
* Water utilities are noted as exceeding the legal limit if any test is above the maximum contaminant level (MCL). Most MCLs are based on annual averages so exceeding the MCL for one test does not necessarily indicate that the system is out of compliance.

32 Contaminants Exceeding Health Based Limits

Contaminants detected in Minnesota drinking water above health guidelines, according to an Environmental Working Group analysis of data obtained from state water authorities

Number of Systems
At Any Level Above Health Limits At Any Level Above Health Limits
Dichloroacetic acid3,046,3023,046,302424424
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)3,984,4642,813,218697324
Alpha particle activity1,826,8861,826,886316316
Arsenic (total)1,110,7321,110,732304304

Water Utilities in Minnesota Reporting Chemicals Exceeding Health Guidelines

Water utilities in Minnesota reporting chemicals exceeding health guidelines, according to an Environmental Working Group analysis of data obtained from state water authorities, include:

Chemicals tested
Chemicals found
Chemicals exceeding
health guidelines
Saint Peter10,4011361911
Green Lake Sanitary Sewer & Water Dist.1,500871811
Sauk Rapids12,4701381911
Saint Louis Park44,1261402410
Joint Powers Board System18,000140169
Bird Island1,19577179
Twin Valley87286169

Sources of Minnesota Drinking Water Contaminants

The contaminants identified in Minnesota drinking water come from a wide variety of sources, including agriculture, industry, water treatment plants, and polluted storm runoff from urban areas.

94Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2010)
19Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Nitrate, Arsenic (total), Selenium (total), Nitrite, Atrazine, Ethylbenzene, Dalapon, n-Nitrosodimethylamine, Chlorate, 1,2-Dichloropropane, Metolachlor, p-Dichlorobenzene, DCPA di acid degradate, Phosphorus, 2,4-D, Bromomethane, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), o-Dichlorobenzene, Aldicarb sulfoxide

26Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Nitrate, Arsenic (total), Tetrachloroethylene, MTBE, Nitrite, Xylenes (total), Dalapon, Cadmium (total), Antimony (total), Mercury (total inorganic), m- & p- Xylene, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), o-Xylene, Benzene, Acetone, Molybdenum, Trichlorofluoromethane, p-Dichlorobenzene, DCPA di acid degradate, Methyl ethyl ketone, Phosphorus, Lithium, 2,4-D, Naphthalene, n-Propylbenzene, Tin (total)

65Industrial Pollutants

Nitrate, Barium (total), Arsenic (total), Manganese, Alpha particle activity, Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Tetrachloroethylene, Trichloroethylene, Chromium (total), Selenium (total), MTBE, Nitrite, Xylenes (total), cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Chlorite, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Bromide, Carbon tetrachloride, Ethylbenzene, Toluene, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, Cadmium (total), Dichlorodifluoromethane, Antimony (total), Mercury (total inorganic), 1,1-Dichloroethane, m- & p- Xylene, Chloromethane, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), o-Xylene, Beryllium (total), Thallium (total), 1,2-Dichloroethane, n-Nitrosodimethylamine, Benzene, Acetone, Molybdenum, Chlorate, 1,2-Dichloropropane, Trichlorofluoromethane, Strontium, Vinyl chloride, p-Dichlorobenzene, Methyl ethyl ketone, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Phosphorus, Tetrahydrofuran, Lithium, Styrene, Naphthalene, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, Methyl isobutyl ketone, Dibromomethane, Bromochloromethane, Chloroethane, Isopropylbenzene, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Tin (total), Dichlorofluoromethane, Ethyl ether, trans-1,3-Dichloropropene

23Water Treatment and Distribution Byproducts
(pipes and fixtures, treatment chemicals and byproducts)

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chloroform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Dichloroacetic acid, Trichloroacetic acid, Bromoform, Dibromoacetic acid, Monochloroacetic acid, Bromochloroacetic acid, Monobromoacetic acid, Chlorite, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Cadmium (total), Chloromethane, n-Nitrosodimethylamine, Chlorate, Bromate, Vinyl chloride, Dibromomethane, Bromochloromethane, Chloroethane

16Naturally Occurring
(naturally present but increased for lands denuded by sprawl, agriculture, or industrial development)

Nitrate, Barium (total), Arsenic (total), Manganese, Alpha particle activity, Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Chromium (total), Selenium (total), Nitrite, Radon, Bromide, Mercury (total inorganic), Chloromethane, Phosphorus, Lithium, Tin (total)

41Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Bromide, Chlorate, Strontium, Lithium, Molybdenum, Tin (total), Phosphorus, Aldicarb sulfoxide, Metolachlor, Ethyl ether, DCPA di acid degradate, Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Bromomethane, Chloroethane, Trichlorofluoromethane, trans-1,3-Dichloropropene, Acetone, Methyl ethyl ketone, Naphthalene, Methyl isobutyl ketone, MTBE, Tetrahydrofuran, n-Nitrosodimethylamine, Dibromomethane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, Bromochloromethane, Bromochloroacetic acid, 1,1-Dichloroethane, Isopropylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Radon, Dichlorofluoromethane, Perfluorobutane Sulfonate (PFBS), Perfluorobutanoic Acid (PFBA), Perfluorohexane Sulfonate (PFHXS), Perfluorohexanoic Acid (PFXHA), Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS), Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), Perfluoropentanoic Acid (PFPEA)

Testing Summary for Minnesota

The federal government has set standards for some of the pollutants found in tap water supplies.

Contaminants reported as tested by water suppliers in Minnesota189
 Contaminants tested due to federal law: 74
 Contaminants tested in addition to those required by federal law: 115

Violation Summary for Minnesota

Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards in Minnesota since 2004

Violation TypeNumber of Violations
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria)168
Over maximum contaminant level, Average81
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria)70
Monitoring and Reporting Disinfection Byproduct Rule67
Failure to report information to the public or state agency in the Consumer Confidence Report37
Follow-up and Routine Tap Sampling34
Failure to monitor, Routine Minor (Coliform bacteria)23
Failure to monitor regularly11
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria)6
Filter Turbidity Reporting5
Initial Tap Sampling for Lead and Copper2
Water Quality Program Entry Point Non-Compliance1
Treatment Technique (Surface Water Treatment Rule)1
Excess Turbidity at 0.3 NTU1