Groundwater Awareness Week: Don't Poison the Water!

By KBJR News 1

March 13, 2012 Updated Mar 13, 2012 at 6:33 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - The Eldes Corner Spring—located just off I–35, on Old Highway 61—is a public artesian well owned, maintained and regularly tested Midway Township.

Three to four ancient aquifers embedded in the nearby hillside are channeled by a simple system of pipes, which keeps the centuries–old water at a constant, natural flow from two spigots.

Aesthetics aside, the well has a pH balance of 7.6—only point 6 away from perfect.

And, arguably the best feature about what many people call the best water between here and Minneapolis is the fact that it comes from the ground, to the surface, and into the cup—ready to drink.

"[I] stop here quite often [and] pick up my coffee water—this makes the best coffee. [I] got a good well at home, but I love this water," said Hinckley resident Maynard Workman.

And hundreds from across the Northland would agree.

Whether public or private, 44% of this nation depends on some source of groundwater for their daily dose of H2O—which, according to Senior Hydrologist Andrew Streitz, is far too significant a number to not be concerned about contamination: "A lot of people don't take care of their water system. If you have your own well, you are responsible for it, and nobody else will take care of it."

...owner of an aging well, or planning to move soon? Don't go anywhere yet.

Since wells create a freeway between ground and surface water, contamination is all–too–easy.

"That's why the state has a policy—and a law—requiring old wells to be filled with cement grout," said Streitz.

But well owners aren't the only ones affecting the water.

While storm drains, sewers, and cracks already channel rainwater to nearby streams—picking up fertilizer, paint and pesticides on the way—sand and gravel act like virtual coffee grounds.

"As the water runs through that, it's constantly brewing coffee, and you get this contaminated flow of groundwater through the sand," said Streitz.

So, if weed killer is required, eco–friendly alternatives are always available.

For more information on how to be a good groundwater steward, check out this link: