Wellhead Protection Plan

The City of Vadnais Heights water system provides safe, clean drinking water to residents and businesses in and surrounding Vadnais Heights.  Vadnais Heights owns and operates 4 wells that pump water from aquifers hundreds of feet below ground.  To ensure the safety and reliability of our drinking water source, protection of this water from contamination is critical. Water samples from the City of Vadnais Heights water supply system are routinely collected and analyzed by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) as required under the Minnesota Public Water Supply Program and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. There are currently no known issues related to the quality of the water obtained by the public water supply wells and results of these tests are provided to the public through the consumer confidence report.  

What is wellhead protection?

Wellhead protection is a means of protecting 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 wellhead protection area is determined by using geologic and hydrologic criteria, such as the physical characteristics of the aquifer and the effects which pumping has on the rate and direction of groundwater movement. A management plan is developed for the wellhead protection area that includes inventorying potential sources of groundwater contamination, monitoring for the presence of specific contaminants, educating the public on wellhead protection, and managing existing and future land and water uses that pose a threat to groundwater quality.

Why is a wellhead protection plan important?

Over 98 percent of the 9,657 public water supply systems in Minnesota rely completely on groundwater.  Because of this, the protection of wells and the aquifers which supply them is an important public health issue.  Following a 1986 amendment to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act along with concerns over the impacts that unwise land and water use have on the quality and quantity of groundwater resources prompted the 1989 Minnesota Legislature to pass the Minnesota Groundwater Protection Act (Minnesota Statute 103I).  The MDH source water protection unit was designated as the lead agency for administering the state's WHP program.  The act provided broad-based support for state and local water resource programs and granted MDH authority to develop a WHP program to protect public water supply wells from contamination.

Drinking water sources are vulnerable to contamination that can cause a community significant expense and threaten public health.  Water is a shared resource, and individuals, citizen groups, and local communities can participate in many activities to help protect their drinking water sources.