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WHITEHALL, WI

The Trempealeau County UW-Extension Office has teamed up with the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, the

Trempealeau County Public Health Office, and the Department of Land Management to offer a drinking water testing and an

educational program for county residents not serviced by public water.

This program is limited to the first 100 participants. Pre-registration is required to participate in the program. Interested well owners can contact the UW-Extension office at 715-538-2311 ext. 208 or by e-mail at michelle.rose@ces.uwex.edu to register.

Please provide name, address and a phone number. Payment for the tests will be accepted when participants pick up their testing bottles.

Three testing packages will be offered. The Homeowners Package tests for coliform bacteria, total hardness, alkalinity,

conductivity, pH, nitrates, chloride, and calculates a saturation index. The cost to the well owner for this package is $14.70.

A metals package is the second package being offered. It will test for arsenic, calcium, copper, iron, lead, magnesium,

manganese, potassium, sodium, sulfate and zinc. The cost for this package is $13.50.

The final test being offered is the DACT. This test will cost $27 and is used to detect the presence of atrazine-related chemicals.

Pre-registered participants can pick up their testing kits and receive instructions on how to take the tests from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, April 1, at the Strum Community Center or 10 a.m. to noon in the UW-Extension Office in the courthouse

in Whitehall. A third site for testing will be open from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 2, at the Burnside Town Hall in Independence.

Participants will need to drop off water samples between 9 and 11 a.m. Monday, April 4, at the Strum Community Center or 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the UW-Extension Office in the courthouse or from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Burnside Town Hall,

Independence.

'These are the same tests we have been offering since 2015 through the cost-share program the Trempealeau County Board of Supervisors funded,' said Extension Educator and program organizer Pat Malone. 'The major difference is that we will be directly delivering the sample to the lab instead of participants having to mail their own samples to the lab.'

Most residents living in rural areas rely on private wells to supply their drinking water needs. While public and municipal wells are regulated to ensure that water quality meets current drinking water standards, private well owners must assume the responsibility of testing and treating water to ensure that is safe to drink.

Results will be mailed directly to participants after the testing is completed. At that time they will be invited to attend an educational program to share information about local water quality issues and help people understand their water test results and possible solutions to any problems.

This is an extremely valuable opportunity for area residents, particularly those who have never had their water tested, to learn more about the quality of their drinking water and groundwater resources in general. Because of the large number of wells that are tested during this time it also offers the community an opportunity to gain a better understanding of their local water quality, Malone said.

For more information on testing your water through this educational program or to pre-register please contact the Trempealeau County UW-Extension Office at 715-538-2311 ext. 208.

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