Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
September 11, 2015

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

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

Free Water Screening Offered at Husker Harvest Days

Lincoln - Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island from September 15 through September 17 gives Nebraskans with private water wells an opportunity to discover what’s in their water.
At Husker Harvest Days, private water well owners can bring a two to four ounce sample of their water in a clean container. The water will be screened for the presence of nitrates for free.
Bring samples to the Natural Resources Building, Lot #1106, on the southeast side of the Husker Harvest grounds, East Avenue and Second Street. Free screenings will be available Tuesday and Wednesday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and on Thursday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. People can wait for results or come back at a later time. The free screening is sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Public Health.
“Nitrates are a concern all across Nebraska,” said Howard Isaacs, Administrator for the Office of Drinking Water and Environmental Health in DHHS. “High nitrates can be a threat to infants, pregnant or nursing mothers, and even livestock. High levels of nitrates interfere with the blood’s ability to carry oxygen and can cause ‘blue baby’ syndrome. We encourage private well owners to test their water. Testing can then be done every other year if nitrate levels are low. If levels are higher, testing is recommended every year.”
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 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 Water Well Standards Program at (402) 471-0546.