Minnesota Groundwater Contamination Atlas

illustration with aerial photo of a small city and cross section of earth and groundwater

 

A tool for learning about polluted groundwater at sites around the state.


Minnesota Groundwater Contamination Atlas

 


About this project

Using a text-based search or scanning the map, you can view groundwater areas of concern for sites in remediation programs. Within an area of concern, you can download groundwater sampling data or learn the story about contamination at a specific site. 

This tool does not map areas of risk to the health of the communities. If there are potential health risks associated with a groundwater area of concern, proper remediation treatments or activities are implemented to protect human health. Please visit specific sites in your neighborhood to learn more about remediation practices in place to treat groundwater contamination.

This project began in 2017 with a grant from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. This tool went live in June 2020 showing only active state Superfund sites; future phases will add data from other sites.

Frequently asked questions

How do I search: Map or text? Both map and text searches lead you to site stories, which provide detailed data about each groundwater area of concern.

  • Text search allows you to search the map by county, municipality/city, zip code, address, site ID, or site name. You may prefer the text search if you are interested in downloading lists of sites in a specific area.
  • Map search allows you to see sites in a geographic context. This view shows available MPCA data related to remediation programs along with source area and groundwater area of concern maps.

How are these maps made? MPCA hydrogeologists reviewed many reports and data files, then used geographic information systems technology and professional judgment to map these areas. The data used to produce these maps comes from the state’s enterprise database, Environmental Quality Information System (EQuIS), where data from groundwater testing is stored.

When a cluster of wells at a site have contaminant concentrations exceeding health-based guidance values, a groundwater area of concern can be mapped. The dashed and solid outlines for these mapped areas represent two different levels of certainty. The solid outline represents area of concern boundaries that are more certain, while the dashed outline represents area of concern boundaries that are less certain.

The data used for the map are based on the most recent groundwater sampling. The data displayed on the map is based on EQuIS data collected within the last five years from today’s date. If the last sampling at a location was over five years ago, it will not be displayed on the map. The source area and groundwater area of concern on the map are based on EQuIS data collected within five years of the date of mapping.

Is all groundwater contamination included on the map? No, not all groundwater contamination across Minnesota is included. The first phase of the Minnesota Groundwater Contamination Atlas displays groundwater areas of concern from Superfund sites. Future phases will add data from other remediation programs.

How can I get more information about a site? Staff are listed near the bottom of the site stories, under contacts, for questions about a specific site. To request files for a site, please use our information request process.

Funding and partners

Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).

The Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Agriculture provided valuable technical assistance on this project.

 

Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund logo

 

 

 

 

MN logo with Department of Health and Department of Agriculture