Drinking Water Testing Program

Updated 10/15/20

Sponsored by Local Town Boards, Columbia County Extension and the Columbia County Land & Water Conservation Department.

 

Groundwater is an essential resource in Wisconsin. It provides drinking water for 70% of Wisconsin residents and 95% of Wisconsin communities. Groundwater also feeds our lakes, streams and wetlands and helps sustain the many creatures who live there.

Nearly 900,000 households rely on private wells as their primary water supply. Homeowners with private wells are encouraged to have their well tested on a regular basis to determine the safety of the water supply for purposes such as drinking and cooking. While testing is the only way to determine the types and amount of contaminants in a well water system, homeowners and local officials often want to know more about water quality issues in their community. (www.uwsp.edu)  Getting your water tested annually is the best way to know if your drinking water is safe.

The Columbia County Drinking Water Testing Program is a convenient way to test your water and learn about what your results say about the quality of your drinking water.

Residents residing in the townships of Courtland, Randolph, Scott and Springvale had the opportunity to participate in a Drinking Water Program in August 2020.  Most private wells provide a clean, safe supply of water; however, contaminants can pollute private wells, and unfortunately you cannot see, smell or taste most of them.  If you are a homeowner with a private well, you should be testing your water once annually.

The number of participants of testing done in the townships of Courtland, Randolph, Scott and Springvale from August 2020 were:

 Courtland – 4                          Randolph – 13                         Scott – 7                         Springvale – 17

What Tests are Available?

Homeowner Package ($55) includes tests for Nitrates, Bacteria, PH, Harness, Conductivity, Corrosivity, Chloride and Alkalinity.

Metals Package ($52) includes tests for Arsenic, Lead, Copper, Iron, Zinc and Sodium

DACT Screen ($33) includes testing for Triazine-type pesticides.

In Fall 2019 the Towns of Columbus, Fountain Prairie, Hampden and Otsego participated in the drinking water testing program.  Over 150 households participated.  Click here for Kevin Masarik’s Fall 2019 Presentation.

In Spring 2019 the Towns of Fort Winnebago, Marcellon, Pacific and Wyocena participated in the drinking water testing program.  Over 190 households participated.  Click here for Kevin Masarik’s Spring 2019 Presentation

In Fall 2018, the Towns of Caledonia, Lewiston and Newport participated in the drinking water testing program.  Over 130 households participated.  Click here for Kevin Masarik’s Fall 2018 Presentation.

In Spring 2018, the Town of Arlington, Dekorra, Leeds and Lowville participated in the drinking water testing program.  Over 120 households participated.  Click here for Kevin Masarik’s Spring 2018 Presentation.

In Fall 2017, the Towns of Lodi and West Point participated in the drinking water testing program.  Over 100 households participated.  Click here for Kevin Masarik’s Fall 2017 Presentation.

 

Weren’t able to participate but still need your water tested?

If you missed the opportunity to participate in the drinking water program, you may pick up the homeowner testing kits FREE at: Columbia County Extension Office located at 112 East Edgewater Street, Suite 212, Portage, WI  (608) 742-9680.  It’s an easy sample test to take. An instructional video is also available. Once you have the sample, you send it to the lab for processing. Columba County Extension is only a distribute of the homeowner sample kits. Columbia County Extension does not carry the Pesticide Screening or Metals Screening test kits the lab will ship them directly to you.

Columbia County Division of Health offers free well water testing to pregnant women and  children less than one year old.  Testing kits are available from the Columbia County Division of Health.  Please call (608) 742-9227 to schedule an appointment with a Public Health Nurse.

Additional information on forms and current pricing can be found at: https://www.uwsp.edu/cnr-ap/weal/Pages/Homeowner.aspx

Drinking Water Phase I Map (2007 – 2010)                   Columbia_2007_2010 Summary of Results

Drinking Water Phase II Map (2017 – 2020)                  Columbia_2017_2020 Summary of Results

For more information please contact:

Kathleen Haas, Community Development Educator

Extension Columbia County

112 E. Edgewater Street, Room 212

Portage, WI 53901

Phone: 608.742.9683

Kathleen.haas@wisc.edu