SWCD offers well tests

Published 10:20 am Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Mower County Soil and Water Conservation District is hosting a nitrate clinic to provide free water sampling for the public. The clinic will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24. No appointment is needed, and office drop-ins are welcome at 1408 21st Ave. NW, Austin.

The district wants to encourage all well water users to come and find out what their nitrate levels are in their well water. High nitrates in drinking water can cause potential health problems, especially in infants younger than 6 months who drink water containing nitrates in excess of the 10 mg/L. They could become seriously ill, and if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue baby syndrome.

When sampling, make sure to have a clean bottle and hands. Take the sample as close to the well as possible. If possible, collect the water sample before a water softener or filtering system. Allow the water to flow for about 10 minutes, until it is at a constant temperature. Lower the flow rate and fill the sample bottle to the shoulder and put the cap on tightly. Sample bottles are available at the Mower SWCD office.

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The testing itself only takes minutes and is free.