The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will collect and analyze water samples from about 90 wells in Redwood County this summer. The data is being collected for the Redwood County Geologic Atlas, Part B (hydrogeology).

Staff from the DNR will contact county residents to request permission for well sampling, which involves collecting a water sample and measuring the depth to water in each well.

Tests will profile the general chemical characteristics of area groundwater and will also show approximately how long the water has been underground.

Geology, location, well depth and well construction will determine the selection of wells for sampling. Owners of sampled wells are going to receive a report of the laboratory results for the water sample collected from their well.

Preserving the long-term quality of the region’s surface water and groundwater requires that policymakers have access to accurate information based on sound scientific principles. A county geologic atlas is a valuable tool for county planners, resource managers and other local government staff when they are making general planning, land use management and water resource protection decisions. The Minnesota Geological Survey has already published Part A of the atlas, which illustrates details of each county’s geology.

In 2019, the DNR will publish the groundwater portion of the atlas (Part B). The Part B reports will include maps and descriptions of the distribution and movement of groundwater, cross sections illustrating groundwater conditions and the pollution sensitivity of aquifers in the county.

The DNR county geologic 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.

Funding also comes from the Clean Water Fund, which receives a portion of the sales tax revenue from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment approved by voters in November 2008.

A description of this DNR program and status reports for atlas products is available on the county geologic atlas program page.

For more information about the program, contact Vanessa Baratta, DNR hydrogeologist at (651) 259-5685 or vanessa.baratta; or Paul Putzier, DNR geologic atlas program supervisor at (651) 259-5692 or

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey