Do you get your drinking water from a private well? If so, as a private well owner, it is up to you to get your well water tested to ensure your drinking water is safe.
The Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will be co-hosting a free nitrate water-testing event on Tuesday, August 16th from 2PM to 7PM at the Greenwald Pub in Greenwald, MN (310 1st Ave N, Greenwald).
Nitrates are the most common contaminant in Minnesota’s groundwater. Since you can’t taste it or see it, many people are not aware it is in their water. Much of the nitrate in our environment comes from decomposition of plants and animal wastes. People also add nitrate to the environment in the form of fertilizers. Elevated nitrate levels in groundwater are often caused by run-off from barnyards or feedlots, excessive use of fertilizer (agricultural and residential) or septic systems.
Too much nitrate in drinking water poses a risk to infants under six months of age, pregnant women, people with reduced stomach acidity, and people with certain blood disorders may also be susceptible to nitrate induced methemoglobinemia.
To keep your drinking water safe, have your well tested annually for nitrate. Continue to properly manage nitrate sources near your well. Small things like getting a compliance inspection on your sewage treatment system, routinely pumping your septic tank, and applying fertilizer to your lawn when it is actively growing will help keep you and your family safe.
The Minnesota Department of Health has reported that nitrate contamination of a well is often regarded as a first sign of deteriorating groundwater quality, accentuating the importance of annual nitrate testing.
Private Well Nitrate Water Testing Event:
Date: Tuesday, August 16th
Time: 2:00PM – 7:00PM
Location: Greenwald Pub (310 1st Ave N, Greenwald, MN)
How to collect your water sample:
Water samples should be collected after a cold tap has been left running for 5 -10 minutes. Collect about 1 cup water in a clean container. Collect sample no more than 24 hours before the test will be completed. Keep water cool until the tested. If your house uses water treatment equipment other than a softener, it is recommended to take a sample before and after to determine if your system is working properly, label sample container accordingly. Please bring pictures of your water treatment equipment as groundwater professionals will be on site to discuss water testing results and provide guidance on water treatment equipment.
This event is in coordination with the Minnesota Well Owners Organization, Minnesota Department of Health, and Minnesota Groundwater Association.
For more information on proper sample collection or nitrate water testing options, contact the Stearns County SWCD at (320) 251-7800 ext. 3 or visit the website at: https://www.stearnscountyswcd.net/nitrate.