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Water Supply and Well Water


The health department and DNR recommend testing well water annually for coliform bacteria and other contaminants to ensure it is safe for you and your family to drink. Municipal water systems test their water regularly, but it is the responsibility of private well owners to test their own water. Testing well water is one of the simplest and easiest things you can do to take care of the health and well-being of yourself and your family.

The Trempealeau County Health Department can screen for iron, nitrates, pH, and hardness. The cost for this service is $5.00. Please call 715-538-2311 ext. 220 to schedule an appointment.

Coliform Bacteria

Testing your well for coliform bacteria is important because although most coliform bacteria will not cause illness, they are an indicator that other more harmful bacteria, viruses or parasites may also be present. Coliform bacteria are small organisms than can be found in both human and animal waste, in soil, on vegetation, or in surface water.

Nitrate

What is nitrate?

Nitrate is naturally found in plants and animals in varying concentrations. Nitrate levels can vary in groundwater based upon soil types, land use, and fertilizer and manure application practices.

How can nitrates get into my well?

Nitrate dissolves easily into water, and common sources include: nitrogen fertilizers, manure, septic systems, municipal sewage treatment systems, and decaying plant debris.

Who should be concerned?

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services advises that people of all ages avoid long-term consumption of water that has a nitrate level greater than 10 ppm. Nitrate contaminated water should NEVER be fed to an infant under 6 months of age. Nitrate in infants can lead to "blue baby syndrome" which occurs as a result of nitrates reducing the blood's ability to carry oxygen. This is a very serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. Studies have also shown that women who drink water high in nitrates during pregnancy are more likely to suffer miscarriages or have babies with birth defects.

Protect Your Groundwater Day: A call to protect public health and the environment

The National Ground Water Association encourages every person to protect public health and the health of the environment by protecting groundwater, beginning on Protect Your Groundwater Day, September 8. Read more about Protect Your Groundwater Day here.

Links for Additional Laboratory Information

Dairyland Laboratories, Inc.

Eau Claire City/County Health Department

La Crosse County Health Department

Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene

Room 226
36245 Main Street
P.O. Box 67
Whitehall, WI 54773

Phone
(715) 538-2311 ext. 220
Fax
(715) 538-4861

Email

Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Closed Major Holidays

Barb Barczak
Director of Public Health
Health Officer
Trempealeau County