Newsroom > DHHS News Release

July 7, 2011

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

Free Water Testing Offered at Scotts Bluff County Fair

Lincoln—Nebraskans with private water wells can have their drinking water tested for nitrates during the Scotts Bluff County Fair August 2 - 6.

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 Scotts Bluff County Health Department/Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services booth at the Scotts Bluff County Fairgrounds on Tuesday from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. There is no charge for the test, and they can get the results while they wait.

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 Scotts Bluff County Health Department and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health.