(West Plains) – The Howell County Health Department would like to remind area residents that due to the dry weather conditions, it is important to have your well-water tested.
The current rainless weather can have a serious detrimental effect on private well-water quality. Due to the large amount of private wells that supply drinking water in Howell County, the HCHD does urge individuals to test their private wells no less then once a year to insure that the water is clean and safe for drinking and everyday use.
Improperly constructed or poorly maintained wells can create a pathway for harmful fertilizers, bacteria, pesticides or other materials to enter the water supply. Once in groundwater, contaminants can readily flow throughout the groundwater aquifer and from one well to another. Contamination can be either wide spread or localized, depending upon conditions. Often time’s contaminants have no odor or color, so they can be hard to detect as well as expensive to remove. Groundwater may contain natural impurities or contaminants, even without human activity or pollution. Water moving through rocks and soils may pick up magnesium, calcium and chlorides.
In an effort to ensure the safety of your water supply, the HCHD can provide assistance to county residents in performing private well water testing. An “official” bacterial test can be performed by a member of the HCHD at a charge of $20. Water chemistry tests must be performed by officials with the HCHD; those are also $20. If both bacterial and water chemistry testing are desired, the charge will be $30 for both tests.
If residents wish to draw their own water samples an “unofficial” bacterial analysis of private wells may be performed for a $10 fee, assessed upon receipt of test results. Individuals interested in drawing their own samples need only pick up a test kit at health department. Individuals choosing to collect their own samples need to be aware that it is imperative that they deliver their collected sample to the health department the same day it is drawn and that is delivered to the health department no later than 3 PM.
To schedule a water test or for more information regarding water quality and testing services, you can visit the HCHD at 180 S. Kentucky, West Plains, between 8 AM 5 PM Monday thru Friday, or contact them at 417-256-7078.