Farm Bureau members throughout Ohio can get free nitrate testing of their well water.
Each county Farm Bureau will receive 25 testing kits from Ohio Farm Bureau. They will be available to members who pre-register with their county organization by Sept. 19. Kits are limited to 25 per county and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The testing kits will be sent to Heidelberg University’s National Center for Water Quality Research for nitrate analysis. The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation is paying for the cost of the nitrate analysis, which is $25 per sample. Testing for pesticides and metals is available at an additional cost.
It is recommended that wells be tested if they are more than 20 years old; were dug rather than drilled; are shallow; soil is sandy; a chemical spill happened nearby; or are near cropland, feedlots, landfills or industrial sites.
“It’s the homeowner’s responsibility to test their well water to ensure it’s safe,” said Larry Antosch, OFBF’s senior director of policy development and environmental policy. “More than 750,000 households in Ohio depend on their own well, spring or cistern for their drinking water. We want to provide this service for our members so they have an opportunity to see what’s in their water and take any necessary corrective actions.”
Kits will be available for pickup in October, and samples need to be returned before the end of November. Lab results typically take two to three weeks, and will be mailed to homeowners.
To preregister, contact your county Farm Bureau at ofbf.org/counties.
This initiative is a part of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Water Quality Action Plan, a comprehensive effort to help improve water quality statewide. Other action plan activities include edge-of-field nutrient runoff monitoring and conservation efforts through the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network in northwest Ohio, as well as advocating for legislation that will positively impact the state’s water quality while allowing the business of agriculture to grow.