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Statewide Baseline Study

Baseline at a glance

  • Most comprehensive ground water study in Minnesota
  • Ground water assessment conducted statewide, by region and surface water basin
  • 954 Sampling Locations
  • 52 Inorganic and 68 VOC parameters analyzed at each well
  • Subset sampling for pesticides and tritium
  • Assessments for 30 aquifers and 7 aquifer groups

What type of information can the baseline study provide?

  • Background ground water quality for individual aquifers within a county, region or water basin.
  • Identifies potential chemicals of concern for various aquifers, regions and water basins.
  • Age dating of water (using Tritium) for individual aquifers.
  • Recommendations for additional ground water study by aquifer, region and water basin

The Statewide Baseline Study was conducted between 1992 and 1996. The objectives of the research were to establish median and 95th percentile concentrations for chemicals in the state's principal aquifers and to identify potential ground water quality concerns.

954 ground water samples were collected from across Minnesota (see figure below). About 95 percent of the samples were obtained from private drinking water wells. To accomplish this, we used nine-square-mile grids established on 11 mile-centers. Within each grid, one sample was collected from each identified aquifer. Private drinking-water wells were identified using the County Well Index.

HTML Content County Well Index Online External Link

Upon completion of the study, we conducted rigorous analysis of the data. Much of this data is summarized in reports and fact sheets that can be accessed through this web site. Comprehensive reports exist for each of the MPCA's six regions. Several fact sheets provide information for specific chemicals. Summary statistics were calculated for each chemical and results are presented for 30 aquifers and seven aquifer groups. In addition, we conducted correlation analysis between chemicals and other parameters, such as geographic location and well depth.

Baseline study locations

Map showing Statewide Baseline study


PDF Document Baseline Water Quality of Minnesota's Principal Aquifers Report - Summary (gwbasefs)

Fact sheets

Last modified on November 17, 2015 14:43