Protecting Andover residents from contaminated drinking water

While conducting water sampling near the closed WDE Landfill in Andover, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) discovered high levels of the chemical 1,4-dioxane, a likely carcinogen, in private residential wells near Bunker Lake Blvd and Crosstown Blvd.

Andover’s municipal water supply is clean and safe

Andover residents using a municipal water supply have access to safe drinking water. Andover works hard to provide residents with safe and reliable municipal water supply that meets federal and state water quality requirements. They work with the Minnesota Department of Health to test drinking water for more than 100 contaminants.

The source of the contamination remains under investigation. MDH and MPCA are collecting additional water samples in order to determine the extent of contamination. Residents within the study area have received requests from the MPCA to sample their well. Residents with sample results in excess of the MDH health risk limit have been notified and are currently receiving bottled water. The MPCA is working with city officials to identify and implement the best long-term solution to providing clean safe drinking water.

Stay engaged

State agencies and the City of Andover will be providing additional information as it becomes available.

Public meeting

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Department of Health, and the City of Andover hosted a virtual public meeting on Sept. 30 to discuss the groundwater investigation in the Red Oaks area. Here are links to the presentation portion of the meeting, and to the question and answer portion.

Private well sampling

Inside the investigation area. For questions or additional information about private well sampling contact John Hunter of the MPCA: john.hunter@state.mn.us or 651-757-2456.

Outside of the investigation area. Four Minnesota-certified testing laboratories will analyze water samples from private well owners to test for 1,4-dioxane. The State of Minnesota does not endorse or guarantee any specific laboratory or services any laboratory may provide.

  • Pace Analytical Services, LLC (612-607-1700)
  • Interpoll Laboratories, Inc. (763-786-6020)
  • RMB Environmental Laboratories, Inc. (952-456-8470)
  • Minnesota Valley Testing Laboratories, Inc. (507-354-8517)

MDH does not issue well advisory letters based on third party results. MPCA would need to resample the well and provide results to MDH before a well advisory would be issued. MPCA and MDH staff are available to answer questions about private testing results.

Groundwater investigation area

The map shows the groundwater investigation area, which is located just southwest of the WDE landfill site. The study area consists of residential properties serviced by private drinking water wells near the landfill. The municipal drinking water supply has been sampled and determined to be safe. Residents receiving municipal water do not need to be sampled. The cross-hatched properties indicated wells we have not been able to sample and the yellow areas indicate properties we intend to sample.

map: area of Andover where high levels of the chemical 1,4-dioxane were found in private residential wells.


What is 1,4-dioxane?

The main use of 1,4-dioxane was as a stabilizer for the chlorinated solvent 1,1,1-trichloroethane (often used for industrial purposes). It can also be an unintended contaminant in the production of certain products, including some cleaners, detergents, adhesives, inks, automotive fluids, etc.

Groundwater contaminated with 1,4-dioxane is largely caused by the historical use and disposal of chlorinated solvents.

How can I be exposed to 1,4-dioxane? Drinking contaminated water is the primary way people are exposed. Minor sources of exposure are food prepared with contaminated water and incidental ingestion and inhalation of water vapor during showering. Absorption through the skin is also thought to be insignificant.

For more information regarding health and 1,4-dioxane please visit the MDH website or call 651-201-4899