NEWS POSTED 07/28/2017 – IRWA OFFERING FREE NITRATE SCREENINGS AT COUNTY FAIRS

July 28, 2017

Boys drinking waterIdaho Rural Water Association to provide free nitrate screening for private well owners at locations in southwest Idaho.

Owners of private wells can get their drinking water screened for nitrate at several county fairs in southwest Idaho this summer.

IRWA staff will provide free nitrate screening at the following locations:

July 31 – Aug 6: Washington County Fair, Cambridge

Aug 9th – Aug 12: Owyhee County Fair, Homedale

Nitrate is the most widespread contaminant in ground water in Idaho. Nitrate is a chemical form of nitrogen found naturally in small amounts in soil and groundwater. However, some land use practices and human activities may increase nitrate in groundwater to dangerous levels. In areas having shallow depths to ground water, sandy soils or shallow wells, nitrate contamination can easily occur.

Drinking water that contains high levels of nitrate is especially dangerous for infants under the age of 6 months, unborn children, and adults with low stomach acidity.

To participate in the free screening, well owners are advised to do the following before bringing in their water for testing:

  1. Identify a source that is not connected to a treatment device (water softener, carbon filter, or other filtration system). An outside faucet or hydrant works best.
  2. Locate a clean glass jar and lid or Ziploc() baggie to collect the water sample. Label the outside with your name or address, date, and the name of the source (garden well, house well, etc.).
  3. Allow the water to run 5-10 minutes to empty the pressure tank so water comes directly from the aquifer. Doing so will lead to more accurate results.
  4. Fill the container with approximately one cup of water (8 oz.).
  5. Keep the sAmple cool until tested. IRWA and DEQ will test on site for nitrate and the results are immediate.

For more information, contact Melinda Norris at (208) 761-4118 or e-mail mnorris@idahoruralwater.com. For information about a free online class offered for private well owners nationwide, visit www.privatewellclass.org.

 

 

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