DNR offers tips to homeowners dealing with domestic well issues in Polk and Red Lake counties

As of Thursday, July 22, about half of Polk County is experiencing severe drought and the rest of the county is experiencing extreme drought. Most of Red Lake County is experiencing extreme drought.


The conditions are affecting the groundwater supplies that residents rely on for such uses as agriculture, municipal water and private (domestic) wells.

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Increased groundwater use and the lack of groundwater recharge during the drought makes it difficult for the aquifer system to supply water to all groundwater users, resulting in the shortages some households are experiencing.

The DNR has guidance and resources that can help and offers these insights:

Q. Why is this happening?

A. Groundwater is stored and moves slowly underground through geologic formations of soil, sand and rock called aquifers. These aquifer layers range from a few feet to almost 100 feet thick. Most aquifers are naturally recharged by rainfall or other surface water that infiltrates into the ground.

Many domestic wells within this area pump groundwater from the shallow aquifers located within 100 feet of the ground surface. Wells

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