rss

Partner Blog

Information of use to those who serve private well owners.

Minnesota’s Well and Water System Disinfection Fact Sheet

Written by Steve Wilson, Groundwater Hydrologist at the Illinois State Water Survey

When I first started working on the Private Well Class materials, we made the decision to use existing, publicly available resources from the web for images because we had no budget for creating original figures and diagrams. It required us to search the web, and quickly we discovered that there was a lot of redundancy and “reinventing of the wheel” for many of the guides and fact sheets available to well owners.  It was the right decision because so many people before us, extension, health departments, and universities, had created vast libraries of materials available for well owners. For instance, I literally looked at dozens of documents on well disinfection. Initially this was annoying, but in the end was a good thing, it allowed me to pick what I felt were the best materials to provide through our class.

The Minnesota Department of Health is a very well managed and funded state agency that provides a number of exceptional materials freely available to well owners. Their well disinfection fact sheet is no exception.  It was the one I settled on. I felt it was thorough, well written, and covered all of the important information a well owner would need to know when disinfecting their well. 

But a year or so ago, their fact sheet changed.  It went from 10 pages down to 6, and though still well written, they removed a number of details that made it clear and more comprehensive.  I was a little disappointed.  None-the-less, because we work hard to give credit to the groups that develop the wonderful materials we have available to us, we linked to the new version and suggested it to well owners.  Then, as fate would have it, I was at a meeting where a colleague brought up the manual.  He mentioned that he felt the old version was a better document.  I used that as validation, and because I had retained a copy of the previous version, I decided to go back to offering the previous version as a resource on our website.

I wanted to write something about this fact sheet because I think it is the approach everyone should be using when a well owner asks them about disinfecting their well. It includes step by step instructions, explains why taking these steps are necessary, and has pictures to clearly show you what things look like.  

We welcome your feedback, and if you have any resources that are specific to a topic that you believe are exceptional, please share them with us at info@privatewellclass.org.