The Kewaunee County Land & Water Conservation Department is looking for homeowners interested in having their private wells tested during the annual “snapshot” of the county coming up Monday, Oct. 21.
As of last week barely half of the 150 available well tests had been reserved, according to County Conservationist Davina Bonness, who runs the department.
“We’ve been trying to push to get the full 150,” Bonness told the County Board’s Land & Water Committee during its regular monthly meeting Oct. 8. “Bottles will be given out on Oct. 17 (Thursday), and wells will be tested Oct. 21.”
There’s a stated limit of 150 tests, but the lab has the capacity to accept as many as 200 wells, she said.
“I would love to get this one filled,” Bonness said.
Three packages are available and can be ordered separately or together for $123:
The “Homeowners Package” costs $52 and measures coliform bacteria, nitrate, chloride, pH, alkalinity, hardness, corrosivity index, and conductivity.
The “Metals Package” costs $49 and tests for arsenic, calcium, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sulfate, sodium and zinc.
The Diaminochlorotriazine (DACT) test for $30 provides a breakdown of atrazine and related herbicides in the water.
Bonness said the Homeowners Package is recommended as an annual test, while the Metals Package should be done at least once every 10 years.
“I try to pick different seasons; last year we did March, this year we’re doing October, next year we’re doing June … so they know how their well is the entire year,” she said.
Payment can be sent to Kewaunee County Land & Water Conservation Department/”Well Testing”/625 Third St./Luxemburg, WI 54217. For more information, call 920-845-9743.
Although the prices are set for this year, the committee discussed using fines collected through enforcement of county Ordinance Chapter 39 to offset future costs to homeowners for the well tests.
Chapter 39 adopts state NR 151, which regulates manure spreading over farm fields to protect ground and surface water.
The committee made a motion asking the Finance Committee to consider earmarking the fines – about $4,700 this year – for uses to be determined by the Land & Water Committee.