The Department of Natural Resources will collect water samples from private wells in Anoka County this fall as part of the Minnesota Geological Survey.
With homeowner permission, hydrogeologists will collect about 90 well water samples, which will be tested for water chemistry, pollutants, and how long the water has been in the aquifer.
It's important to know more about the state's aquifers, those underground passageways for groundwater, said Jim Berg, DNR hydrogeologist and project manager for county geologic atlas projects. The faster the aquifer recharges, the more sensitive it is to pollution from the land, he said.
The data will be combined with other information to map areas that are sensitive to pollution. The information will help local governments with land-use planning, Berg said.
"You wouldn't necessarily want to locate a facility in a highly sensitive area. Or if you did, you'd want to make sure that it's as protected as it could be," Berg said.
The survey has so far mapped about one-third of Minnesota land. Homeowners whose well is tested will receive a report on their water quality.