As part of a regional water quality education effort, the water quality division of the Montana State University Extension Office is partnering with several local extension and health department offices across the state to offer drinking water tests for private well water users.
While public water supplies are routinely tested for drinking water quality, most private well water supplies are infrequently tested, according to a press release from Patricia McGlynn, an agent with the Flathead County Extension Office. In most cases, such testing is the homeowners responsibility. Past testing has found private well water supplies to be of good quality in most locations in Montana. However, McGlynn said rapid population growth in some counties in Montana has resulted in new private well installations, and reminded homeowners it’s important for them to know the quality of their drinking water.
The “Well Educated” program offers a range of different testing packages. The most basic package includes nitrate and coliform bacteria testing, which should be tested every year by well owners. Testing costs start at $20 and run up to $75 depending on the package. The cost of shipping a sample adds an additional $3 to $5. To sign up for the program and receive the necessary supplies and instructions, contact the Flathead County Extension office at 758-5553.
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