Putting Drinking Water First in Minnesota

Putting Drinking Water First: Clean Water Action believes that everyone has a right to safe and affordable drinking water. We are making drinking water impacts a primary consideration when developing regulations and other programs involving upstream activities that can impact downstream drinking water sources.

  • Water Infrastructure Investments: Dangerously outdated infrastructure remains a huge threat to our lakes, rivers, streams and drinking water quality. From combined sewer overflows to old lead service lines, our water infrastructure needs to be updated to protect water resources for future generations.
  • Tracking Contaminants of Emerging Concern:  People and industry use tens of thousands of chemicals. A vast array of these chemicals has been found in the environment, where we consider them contaminants of emerging concern or CECs. Most of these CECs have not been fully evaluated for the risks they might pose to the environment— or to our health.
  • Reducing Lead Exposure- Lead is a highly poisonous metal and can affect almost every organ in the body and the nervous system. The wide spread contamination of drinking water in Flint, MI, has also raised many concerns about lead in our drinking water and in public places such as schools. We are working to enact policies that will reduce our exposure to lead and make Minnesota Lead Free.
  • Reducing Salt in our Water: In winter, salt is applied to roads and walkways to melt ice and snow — this is where most of the chloride in our water comes from. The salt dissolves, runs into storm drains, and most storm drains go directly into local waterways.
  • Protecting Groundwater: Nearly 75% of Minnesotans get their drinking water from groundwater sources. To protect groundwater the legislature passed the Groundwater Protection Act in 1989.
Corroded pipe with lead service fittings. Credit: Mike Thomas / Creative Commons

Minnesota Guide to Lead in Our Drinking Water and Lead Service Lines

Learn more about lead, what it is, how it gets into our homes, and what you can do about it below. 

Lake Erie Algal Bloom - August 2015. Photo Credit: NOAA Great Lakes CoastWatch

Water Infrastructure in the Great Lakes:

Turning the “Rust Belt” into the “Water Belt”

Beakers. Photo credit: Africa Studios / Shutterstock

Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC): An Early Warning Sign

People and industry use tens of thousands of chemicals.

Protecting Groundwater in Minnesota

Clean Water Action believes that everyone has a right to safe and affordable drinking water.

To make this a reality, it is vital to put drinking water first. To do that it is important that elected and appointed officials at every level of government make decisions with drinking water in mind. That means they consider the downstream impacts on drinking water sources of agricultural, industrial, and every day activities and that protecting  drinking water sources. 

From We All Live Downstream

Bioswales like this help control storm water bring the beauty of nature to Providence College’s urban campus. Photo By Dave Everett
September 25, 2019

In pursuit of creating a beautiful lawn and garden, many people unknowingly contaminate nearby lakes, rivers, and streams with fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. As we prepare our lawns and gardens for winter, you should know that what you do in your yard has a direct and indirect effect on the quality of our water. How long you cut your grass, how often you cut it, how much water and fertilizer you use and what you do with the grass clippings all affect the amount of pollution that ends up in our water.

ReTHink Disposable_Reusable Mugs_Adobe Spark.jpg
May 9, 2019

The weather is getting warmer, which means it is time for picnics, parties, and BBQs. That also means we are likely to see more waste from single-use disposable products like paper plastics, plastic utensils, party cups, and more. Most of those items cannot be recycled, especially if they are soiled with food waste. This contributes to a very large waste stream – more than 40% of plastic is used just once before it becomes trash.

February 25, 2019

Everyone has a right to safe and affordable drinking water. Clean water is one of Minnesota’s most precious resources, and it’s time that we act like it.

Nearly 75% of Minnesotans gets their drinking water from groundwater. With almost 10,000 public water sources coming together to supply drinking water, we need robust protections in place to ensure the health and safety of all of our communities. That’s where Wellhead Protection Plans come in. A Wellhead Protection Plan is a strategy designed to protect public drinking water supplies.