Newsroom > DHHS News Release


September 2, 2010


Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047,



Free Water Testing Offered at Husker Harvest Days


Lincoln—Nebraskans with private water wells can have their drinking water tested for nitrates during Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island on September 14, 15, and 16.


Public water systems are routinely tested for nitrates, but private wells should be tested as well.


To find out the nitrate level in the water they drink, well owners can bring a cup-size sample of water in a clean bottle to the Natural Resources Tent at the northeast end of the Husker Harvest grounds on Tuesday and Wednesday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and on Thursday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.  There is no charge for the test, and they can get the results while they wait.


Samples can also be dropped off at the front information desk in the University of Nebraska Exhibit Building.  Results from these samples can be picked up at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services’ Nitrate Screening Booth in the Natural Resources Tent approximately 1 hour from the time they are dropped off.


Nitrates are a concern for infants under six months of age and pregnant women, as well as anyone who has a weakened immune system.   High levels of nitrates interfere with the blood’s ability to carry oxygen and can cause "blue baby" syndrome.


Livestock, especially cattle, are also susceptible to nitrate poisoning, resulting in lower milk production and loss of calves.


The testing is sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health.  For more information contact the Water Well Standards Program at (402) 471-0546.