Health department reminds of importance of groundwater testing
The Lincoln County Health Department would like to use this year’s National Groundwater Awareness Week, March 10-16, to remind well owners to test their water every year to prevent sickness caused by bad water
Life as we know it would be impossible without groundwater. It is the world’s most used natural resource and supports our lives. Approximately 70% of Wisconsinites use groundwater for drinking. “This year’s theme; “think,” is a reminder to think about getting that leaky faucet fixed, think about the farmers that rely on groundwater to grow the food we eat, and to think about having your well checked and tested to protect your drinking water,” says Meghan Williams, Registered Environmental Health Specialist for Lincoln County Health Department.
Americans use 79.6 billion gallons of groundwater each day. Without testing, this could put the 44% of people that rely on groundwater for drinking at risk of sickness.
The Lincoln County Health Department recommends testing for coliform bacteria yearly. You should also test for bacteria if you notice a change in color, odor, or taste. Even if your water looks, tastes and smells good it can contain bacteria and viruses. “The only way to know what is in your water is to test,” says Williams. “Spring is the perfect time to test your well water.” You may also want to test your well for nitrates. You may be more prone to high nitrates in your water if you live by an area where fertilizers are made or handled, by an animal feedlot, or close to a manure storage area. Nitrates as especially a concern if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or if an infant will be drinking the water.
Lincoln County Health Department has a certified water lab for testing drinking water. The lab has bacteria and nitrate testing capabilities. The cost for bacteria and nitrate testing is $20 each. Special sampling bottles, that must be used for water testing, can be picked up at the Lincoln County Health Department, 607 N. Sales Street Suite 101, Merrill, Monday-Friday 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Water samples should be taken the same day as they are brought in for testing. Samples can be dropped off at the Lincoln County Health Department, Monday-Wednesday from 8 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. If you are interested in testing for other contaminants contact the Lincoln County Health Department.
For more information about Lincoln County Health Department’s programs and services, visit lincolncountyhealthdepartment.com or find us on Facebook. Lincoln County Health Department is always working for a safer and healthier Lincoln County.