Water Quality in the State of Minnesota

Minnesota, the “bread and butter state”, is best known for its numerous lakes, forests and extravagant fairs. The state’s main industries are agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, mining and bioscience. Minnesota residents get their drinking water from a variety of sources. 75% of all Minnesotans get their water from wells that pull water from underground aquifers. Residents in more populated areas such as Minneapolis, St. Paul and St. Cloud rely mainly on the Mississippi River for their water source. Duluth residents receive their water from Lake Superior.


Water Hardness by City

When rain falls, it gathers in lakes and aquifers. Rock formations in these bodies of water begin to slowly melt and enrich the water with dissolved minerals. The greater the number of dissolved minerals in the water, the harder it is. Minnesota water is considered hard to very hard depending on the location with an average state range of 192 PPM.


The hardest water in the state hails from Minnetonka city, their water comes from the Jordan Aquifer and provides a water hardness level of 310 PPM. For reference, water is considered hard between 120-180 PPM. 180 and above is very hard and is the source of many headaches for business/homeowners like in Rochester with 323 PPM and Windom with 240 PPM. While most Minnesota cities have hard water, there are a few cities with moderately soft water. Minneapolis water is considered moderately soft, at 65 Parts Per Million. This is because Minneapolis has a water softening plant that softens the water provided by the Mississippi River before it is dispersed to Minneapolis residents. 


For more information on water hardness in specific cities, please see table below.


City Water Hardness Data
Minneapolis 65 PPM (mg/L) or 4 gpg
Saint Paul 175 PPM (mg/L) or 10 gpg
Rochester 323 PPM (mg/L) or 19 gpg
Duluth 45 PPM (mg/L) or 3 gpg
Minnetonka 310 PPM (mg/L) or 18 gpg
Windom 240 PPM (mg/L) or 14 gpg
Big Falls 190 PPM (mg/L) or 11 gpg


PPM = Parts Per Million

mg/L = Milligrams Per Liter

gpg = Grains Per Gallon


Farming, Food Processing and Hard Water

Minnesota is the United States' largest producer of sugar beets, wild rice and green peas, The state is also a leading producer of hogs, corn, soybeans and wheat. Minnesota is home to some of the country’s biggest food processing companies, which makes food processing the second most important industry for the state.


As a great deal of Minnesota has water rich in calcium (the primary source of water hardness), many farms and food process plants experience issues related to scale buildup in their irrigators, production and processing equipment. In addition, contaminants polluting soil and waterways has increased greatly over the past few decades. There is a greater need for waste and chemical control. Many farmers are looking for eco-friendly solutions that can provide quality crop protection at a cheaper cost.




Solutions to your Water Quality Problems

Fixing your water quality issues in the state of Minnesota will depend on your specific water source. It is best to test your potable water supply in order to get a better understanding of your water quality. Testing is relatively cheap. The test results will allow you to understand if your potable water has issues that need to be addressed. Common solutions to water contamination problems may include a water filtration system, a reverse osmosis system or other whole home water treatment solutions.


 A problem that almost all Minnesota residents will have to deal with is hard water. One old-fashioned, inefficient, expensive and unhealthy method to treat hard water is with a salt-based water softener. Most people don’t realize that if you’re using a water softener you are basically removing calcium and magnesium from your drinking water and adding salt to your diet. In addition, many states are banning the use of salt-based water softeners


Alternative water treatment solutions such as “water conditioners” have been gaining popularity in recent years because they are cheap to operate and the best eco-friendly solution for hard water. Hydropath technology, which powers the HydroFLOW water conditioners is by far the most efficient and cost-effective eco-friendly solution to deal with hard water problems. To learn more about how HydroFLOW solves the problems created by hard water, please check out our technology page. You might want to read this blog that explains the difference between water conditioners and water softeners: Water Conditioner vs. Water Softener Blog.


For more information, please contact HydroFLOW Midwest