If your home operates on its own well system, making sure your drinking water is free of contaminates is imperative as nitrates, nitrites and other hazardous chemicals are prone to private wells across Delaware.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend annual sampling to ensure optimal water quality, which is why the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) is now offering inexpensive testing kits statewide.
Delaware's Senior U.S. Senator Tom Carper was on-hand Friday morning in Georgetown for the announcement of the new kits that test for a variety of commonly found contaminates that pose health hazards if consumed.
"We read the scripture 'love thy neighbor as thyself' and the question is who are our neighbor, our neighbors include one out of six families in Delaware who get their water from a private well," Sen. Carper said. "I grew up in Virginia and we had private wells all the time, but if you have a private well in Delaware you can have the same reassurance (as municipal water systems) that your water is safe from bacteria, nitrates, nitrites all kinds of substances and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, it costs four bucks."
The kits are for private well owners only and cost $4.00 for both chemical and bacteriological kits. ($2.00 Each), and are available Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at locations in all three counties:
- University Office Plaza-Chopin Building-Suite 105, Newark
- Delaware Public Health Laboratory, Smyrna
- Thomas Collins Building-Suite 5, Dover
- Adams State Service Center, Georgetown
The kits test for bacteria, nitrate, nitrite, iron, fluoride, alkalinity, pH, chloride, sulfate, sodium, and hardness. Private wells should be inspected once a year to make sure there none of the above are present.
While private wells should be tested routinely every year, if someone in the house is pregnant or nursing, if a change in water taste, odor, color or clarity is present or if you replace or repair any part of your well or plumbing system, it's strongly recommended to have it tested immediately.
For additional information on the private well testing kits, visit http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dph/hsp/privdw.html.