Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Groups Help Test Private Water Sources

Here's a great idea!

Posted: Sep 22, 2009 6:00 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 22, 2009 6:01 PM EDT

Augusta County wants to help people find out for sure if the water coming out of their taps is safe to drink. Half the households in Augusta County -- some 35,000 people -- rely on private water sources, such as wells, cisterns and springs

Most of them don't get their water tested nearly as often as they should, says the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service. The service is offering water tests for more than 200 homeowners who signed up for it.

The testing will reveal bacteria like coliform and e-coli, and show levels of iron, sodium and other chemicals. Then it's up to each property owner to take the next step.

Cristin Sprenger with the Virginia Cooperative Extension said, "They can choose to make changes to their water source...You know, put a system in that would kill bacteria or whatever they want. But they're under no obligation to do so. No one's going to come in and tell them they can't use their water."

The rotary club, which works on drinking water projects all over the world, co-sponsored the testing program in their home county. That allows Augusta County homeowners to get their water screened for less than $50 and they can ask for financial aid if they need it.

The results will be back in early November.

Reported by Ken Slack

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