By Ted Trewin

Dallas Co. Environmental Health

On a hot summer day nothing quite quenches your thirst better than a cold glass of ice water from your private well. Even though the glass of water may appear clean, the only way of knowing if your well water supply is safe to drink is to have your well water tested.

Your Dallas County Environmental Health Department applied for and received a grant for well testing, making this test free to all private well owners in Dallas County.

What could be in your well? Total Coliform Bacteria is a group of naturally occurring bacteria that is present throughout the environment. Nitrogen is an element that occurs naturally in the environment and also with chemicals that are applied to the farm fields. Testing involves a Dallas County inspector coming out to your home and gathering a sample in laboratory certified bottles. The well water will be collected where the home owner uses the water the most for drinking purposes. Once the water sample is collected then the bottles are returned to the laboratory and the laboratory will get the results back to Dallas County in about a week. The county inspector will call and mail out the results to the property owner. If there is a high level of Total Coliform Bacteria in the well, the property owner will be requested to shock chlorinate the well or have other treatment devises attached to the well water to remove the bacteria from the well. If there is high nitrate in the well the owner will have to find other treatment devises for removing the nitrate.

If you have questions about this program or other well questions please call Ted Trewin or Toby Welch at the Dallas County Environmental Health office at 515-993-5803.