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For Immediate Release
September 6, 2011

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

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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 13, 14, and 15.

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, Lot # 1018 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.

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.