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County to hold program to test drinking water

The St. Croix County Community Development Department has teamed up with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point certified water lab to offer a drinking water testing program. Residents living near the Town of Forest, Glenwood and Emerald and not serviced by public water, will have an opportunity to pick up water test kits on Friday, Sept. 13.

Most rural residents rely on a private well for their drinking water. Owning a private well is a big responsibility and ensuring your water supply is safe is the homeowners' responsibility. If you have a private well, you should test your water regularly, even if you do not observe any smells, staining or changes in the taste of your drinking water.

There are over 15,000 private wells in St. Croix County. Of those wells, only 20 percent have been tested by a certified lab. Homeowners are encouraged to test their wells annually for coliform bacteria and at least every five years for nitrate-nitrogen. For a fee, well owners will have three different test packages to choose from. The homeowner's package includes water quality tests for nitrate, coliform bacteria, pH, alkalinity, hardness, conductivity, corrosivity, and chloride. The metals package includes arsenic, copper, lead, iron, manganese, zinc, potassium, sodium, calcium, sulfate, and magnesium. The third test is a broad-screen for pesticides such as atrazine.

Test kits and instructions will be available on Friday, Sept. 13, from 8 a.m.-noon, and 3-7 p.m. at Forest Town Hall (1895 County Road D). Samples must be collected on Monday, Sept. 16, and returned to the same location between 3-7 p.m.

For more information about this program please contact Lori Stansbury at 715-531-1904.

This is an extremely valuable opportunity for area residents, to have their well water tested by a certified lab and to learn more about the quality of their drinking water.