13069 Orono Parkway
P.O. Box 430
Elk River, MN 55330-0430
Phone: 763.441.2020
Fax: 763.441.8099
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Free Well Nitrate Testing Clinic

Free Well Nitrate Testing Clinic

For Homeowners with Private Wells

 When: Thursday, March 19, 2015 – from 3pm – 6pm

 Where: Upper Town Room, Elk River City Hall- 13065 Orono Parkway. Elk River, MN 55330


Nitrate contamination is a common drinking water problem found in some Sherburne County wells. It is primarily a health hazard for infants because nitrate levels above 10 parts per million can cause blue baby syndrome. A health hazard connection for older children or adults has not been demonstrated.

In order to participate in the testing, homeowners must bring at least one-half cup of water in any type of plastic bag. Ziplock® bags are frequently used. In order to get a good sample, allow the water to run 5 to 10 minutes before filling the bag. Homeowners with water treatment equipment should take two water samples – one before and one after the treatment process. Homeowners with just a water softener should only take one sample, either before or after the water passes through the water softener.

Samples should be taken no more than 24 hours before the testing, and they must be refrigerated. Samples should be cool when arriving at the clinic. To ensure accuracy, homeowners should mark the bags with their name, phone number and a well identification number if more than one well is sampled. Also, information on the age and depth of the well, if known, can be helpful for interpreting results.

Samples are analyzed on the spot – the process usually takes less than five minutes- and results are given directly to the homeowners. If the nitrate level in a sample is elevated, clinic staff can refer the homeowner to certified labs that will retest the water.

Sponsored by the Sherburne Soil & Water Conservation District, the City of Elk River, Elk River Municipal Utilities, and the MN Department of Agriculture.

For information call Sherburne Soil & Water Conservation District (763) 241-1170 ext. 4