DHHS and DEQ Providing Free Water Testing April 9 and 10 for Private Well Owners Impacted by Flood

News Release
For Immediate Release: 4/5/2019

Leah Bucco-White, Department of Health and Human Services, (402) 471-9356

Brian McManus, Department of Environmental Quality, (402) 471-4223

Lincoln – The Nebraska Department Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are offering free testing for total coliform and E.coli for samples submitted by private well owners during the collection events listed below. In addition, information about septic systems and disposal of solid wastes will also be available.

Recent flood conditions can pose threats to the quality of private water supplies. Flooded private water wells or wells suspected of being impacted by flooding should be tested to ensure that they are safe. Cloudiness or a change in taste or smell are signs of possible contamination. However, if there is any indication that the water supply has been breached by flood waters, even without noticeable changes in taste or smell, residents are encouraged to test their well water. Residents with wells inundated in flood water are also advised to contact their local water well professional to shock treat their well or follow well treatment guidance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln at https://flood.unl.edu/ followed up by testing.

Private water well testing locations and times:

Niobrara – Tuesday, April 9
Time: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: Office of Environmental Protection
52948 Highway 12

Fullerton - Wednesday, April 10
Time: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Location: OT Catering
329 Broadway Street

Here's how it works:

  • Pick up a testing kit at the locations during the hours specified or from one of the local sites listed below ahead of time.
  • Follow the instructions and collect a water sample from the private well. Be sure to use the container that comes with the kit.
  • Bring the sample back before 5:00 PM to one of the locations during the day noted above to be eligible for free testing. Samples not brought to the locations will be subject to mailing and processing costs.

Sample kits for the Fullerton event can be picked up ahead of time at East Central District Health Department, 4321 41St Avenue in Columbus.

Nebraskans can also request kits from the Nebraska Public Health Environmental Laboratory to test for coliform bacteria. The kit is free. The cost to run the test is $17.00. Order kits online at http://www.nebraska.gov/dhhs/water-test-kits/private.html or by calling (402) 471-3935 between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM Monday through Friday.

More helpful information is available for private well owners on the DHHS flooding resources page - http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/flooding.


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