VAN WERT — The Van Wert Soil & Water Conservation District has partnered with Heidelberg University’s National Center for Water Quality Research to offer residents the opportunity to have their well water tested.

If your drinking water comes from a private well, you are responsible for your water’s safety. If you have never had your water supply tested, it is always a good idea to educate yourself on what is present in your drinking water and also provide yourself with some baseline information in the event there are changes in the future that may impact the quality of your water supply.

Should you test your well water?

Your well has an increased likelihood of contamination if:

• Your well is more than 20 years old

• Your well was dug or driven rather than drilled

• Your well is shallow

• Your soil is sandy

• A chemical spill is known to have happened nearby

• Your well is near possible sources of contamination, such as: cropland, feedlots, landfills, industrial sites, active or abandoned

Even if your well fits none of these categories, you cannot know the quality of your water without testing. Contaminants may have entered the ground without your knowledge or before you lived at the site.

Test kits available :

Nitrate/Inorganic Suite Includes nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, chloride, sulfate, fluoride, soluble phosphorus, silica, and conductivity — $25

Pesticide Immunoassay Screen Detects major herbicides such as atrazine (Aatrex), simazine (Princep), alachlor (Lasso), metolachlor (Dual), and acetochlor (Harness) — $60

Metals by ICP/MS Includes antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, lead, selenium, aluminum, copper, iron, manganese, zinc, nickel, sodium, calcium, strontium, cobalt, magnesium, potassium, silica, and vanadium — $75

The test kits will be for sale Monday, Oct. 1 through Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. The samples need returned to the Van Wert SWCD on Monday, Oct. 15 between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Participants can expect their confidential results back in two to four weeks from Heidelberg University.