BURLEY, Idaho (KLIX) The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality will be offering free nitrate testing for private well owners at an upcoming health fair. The DEQ announced they'll provide free screenings for property owners at the Burley Health and Safety Fair on May 4, at the Cassia Regional Hospital. DEQ says that nitrate is the most common contaminant found in Idaho ground water and has provided free testing at various events before. Nitrate is dangerous to infants, unborn children, and some adults. If you want to have water tested here are the guidelines from DEQ:

  • Identify a source that is not connected to a treatment device (water softener, carbon filter, or other filtration system). An outside faucet or hydrant works best.
  • Locate a clean glass jar and lid or Ziploc bag to collect the water sample. Label the outside with your name or address, date, and well name (garden well or house well).
  • Allow the water to run 5-10 minutes to empty the pressure tank so water comes directly from the aquifer, which leads to more accurate results.
  • Fill the container with approximately one cup of water.
  • Keep the sample cool. DEQ will dip a test strip into the water, which will indicate if nitrate is present.

More detailed testing can be done for a cost. For more information the Twin Falls Regional Office at (208) 736-2190 or email irene.nautch@deq.idaho.gov