Test private well water to protect your health

Do you know what’s in your well water? Whether for drinking, cooking, bathing, or doing laundry, a supply of clean water is important to a healthy home. Yearly testing and maintenance are recommended to help protect your water.

What to test for:

• Bacteria ??¢???????? at least once a year. Bacteria come from insects, mice, septic systems and livestock wastes.

• Nitrates ??¢???????? especially if there is a pregnant woman or infant in your home. In infants less than six months old, high levels of nitrate exposure can reduce the blood’s ability to carry oxygen and cause “blue baby syndrome” (the skin appears blue-gray or lavender). Nitrates come from fertilizer use, barnyard runoff and septic systems. High nitrate levels may mean that your water also has bacteria or farm chemicals.

• Arsenic or radon ??¢???????? if common in your area. Talk to a regional water supply expert at your local DNR office.

• Volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) ??¢???????? if your well is near an old landfill, gas station, or buried fuel tank.

• Pesticides ??¢???????? if your well is near an orchard or farm field.

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