Conservation district offers free well water screening

Published 9:20 am Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Berrien Conservation District and the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) will sponsor a free drinking water well screening on June 17 and 18 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Bring your water samples to the Berrien Conservation District Office at 3334 Edgewood Road, Berrien Springs.

Samples from drinking water wells will be screened for nitrate and nitrite. The screening is open to everyone who uses a personal well for drinking water. Forms should be filled out in advance and are available at the Conservation District office or online at, or people may fill out a form when you arrive. This service is for private drinking water wells only. Public water supplies are tested regularly. Please do not bring samples from public water supplies or non-drinking water sources. Only drinking water well samples will be tested. A special bottle is not required; any small clean jar will work — one ounce of water is enough.

Please follow the directions below to sample your well. Collect samples just before bringing them to be sampled. Samples must be less than 48 hours old for a valid nitrate result.

1. Fill out the water Sample Information Sheet. (These will also be available when you bring your sample in)

2. Pick a tap that supplies water that has not run through any treatment devices (water softener, carbon filter, etc.). An outdoor faucet often works well.

3. Run the water for 20-30 minutes before collecting the sample. Do not sample through a hose. Rinse the sample bottle and lid thoroughly in the water to be sampled.

4. Label the bottle your name, date, and the well name (cottage well, Mom’s well, etc.) using a waterproof pen.

5. Keep the sample dark and cold (on ice or refrigerated) until it is dropped off.

All results are confidential. People will get their results as well as information on what to do should nitrite or nitrates show up in their drinking water. Those who do not wish to wait a few minutes for results anyone may just drop off the sample along with a completed form.

People can get more information from the Berrien Conservation District office at (269) 471-9111 ext 121, at, or email