Domestic Water Sampling
What do we test for?
Nitrate in water is undetectable without testing because it is colorless, odorless and tasteless. It may attain high levels in some ground water due to contamination by sewage, wastes or leaching on agricultural fertilizer in heavily farmed areas. Nitrate interferes with the ability of the blood to carry oxygen in infants, resulting in death in severe cases. Some researchers have found that as nitrate intake increases, leukemia and lymphoma cases also increase. Other studies have found that nitrate may be associated with increased birth defects and stomach cancers. Infants, pregnant or nursing women and elderly adults are at greatest risk of the health affects from drinking water that is contaminated with nitrates. If the nitrate level is 10 parts per million(ppm) it is considered unsafe.
If the bacteria result is 1 per 100ml or greater is considered unsafe. Bacterial contamination cannot be detected by sight, smell or taste. Coliform bacteria, which are part of our testing method may not cause disease but can be indicator of pathogenic organisms that cause diseases.
Who is eligible for testing?
Residents in Box Butte, Dawes, Sheridan and most of Sioux counties who have a private domestic water supply. Testing is FREE and appointments may be made by calling Haley Anders at the UNWNRD office.
What if there is a problem?
The UNWNRD has cost-share available on a first-come-first serve basis to defray a portion of the expense for either a treatment system or new domestic well if you drinking water tests over 10.0 ppm for nitrates or is positive for bacteria. In addition, our well decommissioning cost-share program is available to assist landowners with the cost of properly plugging unused water wells which pose a threat to ground water quality and are a safety hazard.