Free well water testing at Farm Technology Days

water quality testingContact: Kevin Masarik, 715-346-4276, kmasarik@uwsp.edu

All visitors to Wisconsin Farm Technology Days who bring a well water sample can have it tested for nitrate, the most common health-related contaminant found in Wisconsin’s groundwater.

University of Wisconsin-Extension will offer the free on-the-spot test, and it will only take a few minutes to get the results. To take advantage of this free and easy water testing, please bring one cup of your well water in any clean container to the Progress Pavilion.

While there, you will have an opportunity to use the UW-Extension online Wisconsin Well Water Viewer to view well water quality information for your area. There will also be other water educational displays regarding effects of groundwater pumping, drinking water and health, water treatment options and water conservation provided by UW-Extension, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Department of Health and Family Services and Department of Commerce.

“In Wisconsin, about one out of every 10 private wells may contain unsafe levels of nitrate,” said Kevin Masarik, UW-Extension groundwater educator at the Center for Watershed Science and Education. “Wells located near agricultural areas generally have more issues with nitrate at levels of concern.”

Understanding the nitrate level in a well is particularly important for young families. High levels of nitrate in drinking water have been linked to “blue baby” syndrome in infants. Infants less than six months of age and women who are trying to conceive or who are pregnant should not drink water with high levels of nitrate.

Finding nitrate in water often indicates other contaminants as well. Because water quality can change over time, private well owners are encouraged to have a bacteria and nitrate test performed each year to determine if their water is safe to drink.

Don’t pass up the opportunity to take part in this educational opportunity! Specialists at the display can also assist in deciding what other tests well owners may want to consider.

Wisconsin Farm Technology Days will be held July 19-21, 2016 in Walworth County. For more information about Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, visit www.wifarmtechnologydays.com .

The Center for Watershed Science and Education is a partnership between UW-Stevens Point and UW-Extension.

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