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Kits offered to test well water

Published 5:42 pm, Wednesday, January 30, 2013
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The Washington Environmental Council is partnering with Hydro Technologies of New Milford to help area residents get their well water tested at a reduced cost.

Through April 30, the discounted well-testing program offers well-testing kits to area residents at a cost of $69, a 22 percent savings from Hydro Technologies' list price of $89 per test.

Residents of Washington and the surrounding towns are eligible for the program, but must pick up kits at Washington Health Center & Pharmacy.

It is important for owners of private wells to have regular water quality testing. Many contaminants cannot be identified by taste or odor, making it difficult to know if the water quality of their well has changed.

Some contaminants are naturally occurring from features found in the rocks and soils of Connecticut.

These include substances like bacteria, radon, arsenic, uranium and other minerals such as iron and manganese.

Residential activities can cause contaminants to find their way onto the land, such as the use of fertilizers and pesticides, fueling of lawn equipment and disposal of household chemicals.

Industrial and commercial activities, improper waste disposal, road salting and fuel spills can also introduce hazardous substances to the ground.

The state Department of Public Health recommends private wells be tested annually for total coliform and E. coli bacteria, nitrate/nitrate and pH, color and turbidity.

The test offered by Hydro Technologies, a state-certified environmental laboratory, checks the levels of these items and iron, sodium, chloride, manganese, sulfate, odor, residual chlorine, hardness, calcium and magnesium.

Residents may also consider testing for other contaminants discussed above or for lead and copper if their water is acidic, they have small children, or they notice blue-green staining.

Residents should consult with the lab for the required sample bottles, procedures and costs for any additional tests.

Testing kits are available for pickup at the Washington Health Center & Pharmacy at 5 Bryan Hall Plaza in Washington Depot.

After collecting the home water sample, residents must deliver the completed kit to Hydro Technologies at 62 Bank St. No. 2 in New Milford.

A payment of $69 is due to Hydro Technologies upon delivery of the sample.

Results from the test will be mailed to the resident's home address.

For more information, email wec-ct@charter.net.