Rural Water Well Testing

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Rural well owners should test their well water for bacteria and nitrates each year, a hydrologist advised Illinois Farm Bureau's Conservation and Natural Resources Strength With Advisory Team (SWAT). The SWAT teams help identify, surface, and research  emerging issues in agriculture, and then help guide IFB on the issues they are focused on.Privatewellclass _ins

The Conservation and Natural Resources SWAT team deals with issues related to environmental regulations, conservation programs, forestry, and more. Recently, Steven Wilson, with the Illinois State Water Survey, answered team members' questions about rural well water testing and discussed a free online class (see chart).

Conservation and Natural Resources team deals with issues related to environmental regulations, conservation programs, forestry, CAFOs, permitting, pesticide use, and more. - See more at: /get-involved/develop-policies/join-swat-strength-with-advisory-teams.aspx#sthash.AeOS0emw.dpuf
Conservation and Natural Resources team deals with issues related to environmental regulations, conservation programs, forestry, CAFOs, permitting, pesticide use, and more. - See more at: /get-involved/develop-policies/join-swat-strength-with-advisory-teams.aspx#sthash.AeOS0emw.dRecently Steven Wilson with the Illinois State Water Survey answered team members questions about rural well water testing.

Most local health departments can test well water for coliform bacteria and nitrates.

Coliform bacteria do not usually cause disease, but their presence indicates contaminants entered the well and harmful disease organisms may be present, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). When coliform bacteria are found in well water, the water should be boiled before being used for drinking or cooking and the well should be disinfected.

High nitrate levels may be caused by septic systems or contamination from manure or nitrogen applications near the well. Well water containing nitrate levels above the maximum contaminant level established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should not be given to infants younger than six months.

Well owners wanting more extensive tests for chemicals, metals and contaminants need to work with a private laboratory.

The Illinois Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program accredits laboratories for chemical analysis, while IDPH accredits laboratories for microbiological analysis.

For a list of accredited labs, visit the Environmental Protection Agency.

More information about water testing is available from your local health department or the IDPH at 217-782-5830.

Content provided by FarmWeek - Kay Shipman

 

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Accredited Laboratories

Click here for a list of accredited laboratories.

Visit the Illinois Department of Public Health

Click here to go to their website.

Find out more about SWAT

Click here to learn more about the Stength with Advisory Teams at IFB.