Ground Water Level Data

Retrieving the Data

Hydrographs, well descriptions and water level data are available for each well in the Ground Water Level Observation Well Database.

Retrieve Ground Water Level Data

General Information

  • Water level information can be retrieved via two methods: using a map to zoom into the area of interest and clicking on the well marker for well information and water level data or selecting a well from one of the lists available on the site.
  • Obwells may be selected by using the map to zoom into the area of interest. Once you have zoomed into the well of interest, click on the well symbol to retrieve well and water level information.
  • Two dropdown boxes are available for choosing a well. One dropdown box identifies the well by its DNR Obwell number, which consists of a two-digit county code and a sequentially assigned three-digit number. The second dropdown box identifies the well by its Minnesota Department of Health's assigned unique well number. Both identify the same well they simply use a different number to retrieve the data.
  • The information retrieved by any of these methods includes a hydrograph, well details, and water level data.
  • Measured water levels are reported as depth, in feet, below the land surface. The number reported is actually the negative of the depth when plotted. These negative values describe ground water rise and fall in proper perspective.
  • Water levels measured in "dry" or "flowing" wells are plotted and reported as 999.99 and -999.99 respectively. Encountering these fairly rare occurrences will produce hydrographs, which, because of scale, appear almost flat. Capturing the data, eliminating the extreme values, and plotting again with a graphics or spreadsheet program will produce useable charts.

Instructions for Use

If you know the Obwell number or the MDH Unique number for a well select the appropriate dropdown box and chose the well you are interested in. Another window will open which will show the hydrograph, the well construction details, and the specific water level readings for that obwell. (See below for methods to copy, print and save this information.)

If you know the general area for which you are seeking information, but do not know the Obwell number or Unique number, use the map to zoom into the area of interest.

On the map, the symbols represent the well locations. As you zoom into an area, the number of wells may increase or decrease depending on the wells in the area of interest. When you click on a well symbol another window will open and you will get a summary of the information about that well and a link that will provide you with a hydrograph of water levels from that well, well construction details, and the actual water level measurements. (See below for methods to copy, print and save this information.)

You can zoom into an area using the zoom bar on the left side of the map or you can click the Drag Zoom box, which will allow you to outline an area and zoom in on it.

If the wells are close together (less than 5 feet apart), you may not be able to zoom in far enough to see the separate wells. To get the information for the wells you can use one of the dropdown boxes or you can contact the Ground Water Monitoring Coordinator ( and get the information.

To save the data or the obwell descriptive text:

  • Highlight the desired text, right click, select "Copy".
  • Open a word processing program (Word or WordPad, for instance), right click on the blank page, select "Paste" and, text becomes part of the document.
  • Save the document as a "Text" file.

Water level readings saved in the above manner as text files can be easily opened and formatted with most spreadsheet programs. This allows custom creation of hydrographs.