Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
August 31, 2016

Leah Bucco-White, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-9356

DHHS Offers Free Water Screening at Husker Harvest Days

Note: A 30-second public service announcement about this event can be found at

- Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island from September 13 through September 15 gives Nebraskans with private water wells an opportunity to screen for nitrate levels in their water.

Private water well owners can bring a cup-size sample of their water in a clean container to the Natural Resources Building, Lot #1106, on the southeast side of the Husker Harvest grounds, East Avenue and Second Street. Free nitrate screenings are Tuesday and Wednesday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and Thursday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.   
“High nitrates are a threat to infants, pregnant or nursing mothers, and even livestock. We encourage all private water well owners to stop by and see us for this free nitrate screening. It only takes a few minutes to check to see if your well water is safe,” said Howard Isaacs, Administrator of the Office of Drinking Water and Environmental Health in the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

High levels of nitrates interfere with the blood’s ability to carry oxygen and can cause ‘blue baby’ syndrome.

Livestock, especially cattle and hogs, are also susceptible to nitrate poisoning. In cattle it results in lower milk production and loss of calves, in hogs it results in loss of piglets.

Water officials said testing can then be done every other year if nitrate levels are low. If levels are higher, testing is recommended every year.

Water Supply Specialists will be on hand to interpret screening results and answer questions. Information on water quality will also be available. For more information contact the DHHS Water Well Standards Program at (402) 471-0546.