The Upper Loup offers free testing of domestic drinking water wells to rural residents of the District. Domestic wells are a primary source of drinking water for many of our families and are very susceptible to nitrate and Coliform contamination due to their construction, location and age. The District highly recommends private wells be tested annually.
Nitrate-Nitrogen - A water test for nitrate is highly recommended for households with infants, pregnant women, nursing mothers, or elderly people, as these groups are most susceptible to nitrates. Without a test, nitrate in water is undetectable because it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Results are generally available within just a few days. Samples that test above the 10 parts-per-million (ppm), the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) set by the Environmental Protection Agency, will be sent to a private laboratory for verification.
Bacteria - The Upper Loup NRD is pleased to announce that bacteria analysis of water wells is also available FREE of charge to District residents. The EPA has established a “no presence” MCL for bacteria in drinking water. Coliform bacteria are microscopic, generally harmless organisms that live in the intestinal tract of many warm blooded animals including humans and are excreted into the environment through feces. Although most coliform bacteria are not directly disease causing, some are often found with other, more dangerous strains of bacteria like E. coli, shigella and salmonella. Some strains of E. coli are known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other serious gastrointestinal problems.
Samples - Water samples may be brought into the District office, or NRD staff will come to your home or farm and collect the sample. If bringing in a sample, please follow these few simple rules to insure sample reliability:
· Always use a clean, plastic bottle or glass jar to collect the sample. Sampling bottles are also available from the District office.
· Allow the cold water to run for approximately 5 minutes from well spigot, outside hydrant (remove hose), or house faucet to remove stagnant water in pipes and pressure tank. Please note the water must be untreated (no softened, distilled, or other treated water).
· Rinse bottle and cap; then fill bottle; and close cap tightly.
· Samples should be submitted for analysis as soon as possible after collection but may be stored up to 48 hours if refrigerated or kept on ice.