NDEE encourages private well owners to return sample kits

Close-up image of the equipment and process of drilling a new residential water well. Here is the finished, capped and tagged pcv pipe of the property's new water well. (Photo: iStock - skhoward)

The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy urges those who requested free nitrate sample kits to sample their drinking water and return the kits to the Public Health Environmental Lab for processing.

Returning the test kit is a proactive way private well owners can learn their wells’ nitrate concentration and can make informed decisions about their drinking water. From Nov. 29 through March 1, NDEE offered free nitrate sample kits to all private well owners in Nebraska. More than 4,500 well owners requested kits. The kits expire after 90 days.

Data from this sampling effort will be used in a statewide nitrate study NDEE is conducting. Sample kits must be received by the lab as soon as possible to ensure the data is included in the study and to give the state a clearer picture of nitrate impacts on groundwater. While the free sample kits are no longer available, nitrate sample kits are available any time through the Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Environmental lab for a $16 fee, plus postage. NDEE recommends private well owners sample their drinking water on an annual basis.