Not connected but doing well

Solomon Gustavo • Homes on Dale Courts north and sourth are not connected to Shoreview city water and have private wells. People there are accustomed to living with well water and enjoy it. Still, they might have an opportunity to connect to Shoreview’s water supply through a city project approved Dec. 4.

courtesy of City of Shoreview • The cul-du-sacs of Dale Court North and Dale Court Sourth along Dale Street in Shoreview. The shaded properties are currently not connected to Shoreview’s water supply.

Neighborhood weighs opportunity of hooking up to Shoreview water.

Bob Walsh likes the taste of his water. He said he enjoys drawing water from his private well, buried in the front yard of his Dale Court North home in Shoreview, and taking a drink. 

“There’s a hint of an odor when you run a glass of water, if you put your nose up to it right away,” said Walsh. “But then it’s gone.”

He and the rest of Dale Courts north and south, 10 homes tucked into two cul-du-sacs north of Highway 96 and not far from City Hall, are not connected to Shoreview’s water supply. 

All use private wells, but soon may have an opportunity to hook up to the city water supply, even if residents are luke warm about doing so.

The Shoreview City Council, at its Dec. 4 meeting, passed a resolution establishing a water main extension project that would connect city water to the Dale courts. 

This followed an informational meeting on Nov. 29 for residents who currently do not have access to city water. The first step of the water main extension project is a feasibility report, which would include a cost estimate and identify sources for funding. 

Even if residents get the opportunity to connect to city water, “a lot of people that have wells will keep their wells,” said Shoreview City Manager Terry Schwerm. Though the city is aware of this, Schwerm said the reason to extend the water main is precautionary. 

If one of the wells on  Dale Court goes bad, or if someone petitions for a pipe, the city doesn’t want to have to rip up the street. 

Instead, Schwerm said the city is considering taking the opportunity to extend the water main while working on a separate street project. Fortunately, said Schwern, he isn’t aware of any past well issues.


Well living, living well

“As far as water is concerned, we’re set,” Walsh said of his well. “We’re very pleased with the water.”

A retired home builder and developer, Walsh, 77, said his well water tastes so good because there is no chlorine or fluoride in it. 

The state requires all municipal water systems to add fluoride to drinking water because it helps strengthen teeth and helps with biological factors, like with the erosion of natural deposits in pipes. Chlorine is a disinfectant that rids drinking water of bacteria and viruses. 

Chlorine also has the potential to combine with organic material in raw water for a product that can have harmful health effects, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Repeated exposure to chlorine-created contaminants at elevated levels, over a long period of time, can increase a person’s risk of cancer.

Walsh said having untreated water really matters to him — especially when it comes to cholorine.

Walsh moved to Dale Court North 47 years ago. He said he bought land and built a house and a well, which gathers groundwater in a pit that is more than 100 feet deep. 

The only sign of the well in his front lawn is a small well cap, which barely protrudes from the ground. Walsh said the well is electric and doesn’t require much maintenance. 

A pipe goes down about 70 feet inside the well and pumps water into a pressure tank and then a water softener, before pumping it into Walsh’s home. His well is split: drinking water goes inside, while another pump sends water outside for irrigation purposes. 

Walsh said he has a sprinkler system, adding that, if he had to pay the city for the amount of water he typically uses for irrigation, he would be “paying a lot for the water.”


Even flow

On/off watering days in the summer, and the idea of other restrictions, were the reasons why a resident who lives on Dale Court South, who did not want to be named, said they ultimately do not plan on hooking up to the city water supply.

John Miller, 82, a retired mechanical engineer and business owner who lives on Dale Court North, said he is not opposed to hooking up to the city supply. But, if he does, he will keep his well and continue to use it for his sprinkler system. 

Miller has been living in Shoreview since 1960 and on Dale Court since 1974. He said he’s always had a well and that he doesn’t even know what Shoreview’s water tastes like. 

“At some point we will be selling this place,” he said. “I think that having the city water would be a plus.” 

His Dale Court North neighbor, Walsh, said he’d consider hooking up to city water if he decides to sell his house, too. 

Dee Christopher said she moved into her Dale Court South home two years ago. The well came with the house, and she liked that. 

“I like well water,” she said. 

As for her thoughts on connecting to the city water supply, Christopher already has some costs sunk into her well that might affect her decision.

When she moved into her home, the well pump was old and needed to be replaced. “It cost a lot of money,” she said of the new pump. “It would be nice to use it for a while.”

– Solomon Gustavo can be reached at or 651-748-7815.

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