Deadline looms for nitrate testing

— Rural Benton County residents have until April 15 to get their well water tested for free.

It’s part of the Benton Conservation District’s program to test wells for possible nitrate contamination.

“We’re testing to get an idea of the nitrate levels,” agriculture technician Erin Hightower said.

She said it is a precautionary step, and that nitrates are not an issue.

The free testing, funded through a state grant, is available to rural landowners all the way to the county line, just east of Grandview.

Hightower said the goal is to test 200 wells in the spring and again in the fall.

“It’s a quick litmus test to see where we are, just to make sure there isn’t an issue with nitrates,” she said.

Hightower administers the tests, which take about 10 minutes, she said.

After the current round of Benton County testing wraps up, follow-up tests are planned for October. She said a taskforce will review test results later this year.

Call Hightower at 509-736-6000 for details.


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