Test Your Well Fair at Miami East High School


CASSTOWN — Is your home’s well more than 40 years old? Is it less than 50 feet deep? Has it been more than a year since the water was tested? If you answered yes to any of these questions, bring a well water sample so that in less than 30 minutes you can learn if there might be a hazardous level of nitrate in your drinking water.

Wednesday, Jan. 18 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Miami East High School Cafeteria, 3925 N. State Route 589, Casstown, the Miami East FFA Chapter will host a Test Your Well Fair. Enter through door 12 (the east side of the high school). It is a free, confidential nitrite and iron screening of all self-contained wells for residents of Miami and surrounding counties.

While you wait you can learn about well maintenance, nitrate prevention and well education from several area drinking water and well professionals. There will be fun children activities and free refreshments.

To properly collect your well water sample select any clean jar that seals tightly. Free sample bottles will be available in the Miami East High School office or via the Miami Soil and Water Conservation District on County Road 25A. Then, remove any screen or filter from your faucet and run water for five minutes to clear the lines and bring in fresh water. Be sure not to touch the lip of the jar, inside the jar or inside the cap and keep the sample refrigerated until the Test Your Well Fair. A fresh sample drawn the day of the fair is best.

Safe drinking water is important to human health. Groundwater provides drinking water for more than one-half of the nation’s population and is the sole source of drinking water for many rural residents. Shallow and/or poorly capped wells are most vulnerable to nitrite and nitrate contamination. Although there is not a widespread threat of contamination in Miami County, nitrate prevention and proper maintenance of self-contained wells is always necessary.

Nitrates are nutrients that come from nitrogen which are great for plant growth but can be harmful to human ingestion. It is generally from human or animal waste and inorganic fertilizers. Nitrates can also be traced to residential and lawn fertilizers, septic systems and airborne nitrogen compounds given off by industry and automobiles. Infant digestion systems cannot handle over ten parts per million (ppm), though adults can handle over 100ppm. Older or health-impaired people are more sensitive than healthy adults.

For more information about the Test Your Well Fair on Jan. 18 contact the Miami East FFA Chapter by calling 937-335-7070 ext. 3212. This program is made available due to the assistance of the Miami Conservancy District and Miami Soil and Water Conservation District.

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