Extension offices offer water testing kits

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – In Pennsylvania, there are more than a million private wells serving the needs of over 3.5 million people.

This week is National Groundwater Awareness Week, and Penn State Extension is offering testing kits.

Roughly half of all wells have some type of problem. A test kit can help detect potentially dangerous impurities.

“Most of the issues in our wells are often bacterial contamination. Interestingly enough, many times that comes from a malfunctioning septic tank on our own properties,” said Leon Ressler, an extension educator on the agronomy team based in Lancaster County.

The test kits are free at every county extension office. You pay only for what you want to be analyzed by Penn State chemists. Prices range from $50 to $130 for standard, bacteria and pH to more specific tests for lead, nitrates, or for those living near mining or gas drilling sites.

Water samples should be shipped so that they arrive at the lab within 30 hours of being collected. You’ll then receive a report with recommendations for correcting any problems.

Anyone submitting a sample should get their water quality test results in two to three weeks.

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