Thursday, March 29, 2012
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Free drinking water nitrate screening at health fair

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[March 29, 2012]  At the annual Lincoln Community Health Fair, the environmental health division of the Logan County Department of Public Health will offer free nitrate screenings for drinking water. The health fair will be on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lincoln Park District SportsCenter.

Since public water supplies are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, only water from private wells will qualify for screening.

Nitrate is a compound of oxygen and nitrogen that can be found in drinking water. At elevated levels, nitrate can pose the greatest health threat to infants and to women who are pregnant. Some sources of nitrate in drinking water are farmland fertilizer runoff, decaying plant debris, animal feedlots, sewage disposal systems and wastewater. It is not uncommon for well water to contain elevated levels of nitrates, and the best way to determine if your well contains high levels is to have the water tested.

To qualify for screening, simply fill a clean jar or container with at least 3 ounces of tap water, cover it and bring it with you to the environmental health exhibit at the health fair. Your sample of water will be analyzed on-site. The screening will help determine if your well water contains elevated or unsafe levels of nitrate. If your water screening indicates nitrates may be above the acceptable level, a water test kit will be provided to you at no cost so you can have your water tested to verify the actual level.

For more information, contact the Logan County Department of Public Health at 217-735-2317.

[Text from file received from the Logan County Department of Public Health]

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