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PFAS in Groundwater

Feb. 21 Update: Seventh Woodbury well has PFAS levels above water quality limits

Today (Friday, Feb. 21), the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) issued a notice of health risk advisory for levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in a seventh Woodbury municipal water production well.

The well was removed from service Feb. 3, when MDH called city staff to indicate a health advisory was going to be issued. Of Woodbury’s 19 municipal wells, water from seven wells now have detectable levels of PFAS that on repeatable occasion exceed one or more thresholds established by the MDH. Several of these exceedances are only slightly above the health parameters and have been below those values on prior sampling events.

The MDH recommendations are based on daily consumption over a lifetime and have been developed to protect the most vulnerable. To learn more about PFAS, visit or contact the MDH Site Assessment and Consultation Unit at 651-201-4897 or

Woodbury’s drinking water continues to meet State of Minnesota and federal PFAS standards and guidelines.

Temporary water treatment facility update
At its Jan. 8, 2020, meeting, the Woodbury City Council voted to expedite the construction of a temporary water treatment facility north of Valley Creek Road and east of Tower Drive. The original design of the temporary water treatment facility was to address three of the city’s six wells that were removed from service due to health advisories from PFAS levels. The city is now exploring whether additional treatment capacity will be needed.

It is critical the city implement temporary treatment options as soon as possible to allow the city to meet water demand on peak use days this summer.

There are currently two funding sources: the 2007 consent decree and the 3M and State of Minnesota Settlement Agreement. The 2007 consent decree funds more urgent items such as the temporary treatment plant while the 3M and State of Minnesota Settlement Agreement will fund long-term solutions. Both funds are a result of lawsuits the State filed against 3M and are not taxpayer money. The State of Minnesota manages how the funds are used. The City of Woodbury is not paying for the capital cost of constructing the temporary treatment plant.

MPCA and DNR listening and information sessions
The top priority from the 3M Settlement for PFAS contamination in the East Metropolitan Area is to improve the quality and quantity of drinking water. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and DNR are hosting several meetings to share drinking water supply options for those living and working in the East Metro Area.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 26, Lake Elmo Inn Event Center, 3712 Layton Avenue North, Lake Elmo
  • Thursday, Feb. 27, Cottage Grove City Hall, 12800 Ravine Parkway South, Cottage Grove
  • Wednesday, March 4, Prestwick, Golf Club, 9555 Wedgewood Drive, Woodbury

Two meetings will be held on each date from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. All six meetings will feature the same content, including a presentation followed by an open house.

Residents are encouraged to attend a meeting to learn about the list of long-term drinking water supply options and their associated costs. MPCA and DNR are also interested in hearing from residents as they begin evaluating the list of options and develop recommendations.

The city has compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions for residents to review. Additional questions about Woodbury’s water system should be directed to Jim Westerman, utilities manager, at 651-714-3720 or

Learn more about PFAS in groundwater

PFAS Monitoring Results in Woodbury's municipal wells

MDH Well Health Risk Advisory Map

Remediation Activities
In 2011, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) completed remediation activities at these sites to reduce the amount of pollutants released from these sites in the future.

3M, under direction from the MPCA, continues active site remediation. For the Woodbury site, remaining contamination is captured by pumping approximately 1.25 billion gallons of water annually to a treatment plant and discharging it to the Mississippi River.

Visit the MPCA website for more information about the remediation activities.

Private Water Supply Wells
As a result of the EPA’s new guidance and MDH updated HBV for PFOA and PFOS, MDH is sampling private wells within Washington County and will issue additional drinking water advisories as needed. Until their private wells are tested, residents who have concerns about their health can take steps to reduce their potential exposure to PFAS. Information on point-of-use filters and other steps people can take in their homes can be found on the MDH website.

Private water well owners or residents interested in treating the water after it reaches their home can learn about home treatment options at

Residents who have questions about their private water supply well and whether it is impacted by this change should contact MDH.

Jan. 8, 2020 Update: City begins work on temporary water treatment facility

Oct. 24 Update: Public Meeting held at Woodbury High School

Oct. 18, 2019 Update: Sixth Woodbury Well has PFAS levels above health risk limit

Aug. 28, 2019 Update: Expedited project awarded to and accepted by Woodbury

April 3, 2019 Update: Minnesota Department of Health issues new Health-Based Guidance Values

March 2, 2018 Update: $850 million settlement provides funding for cleaning up drinking water