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NRDs - Free well water testing for flood victims

Posted at 1:27 PM, Mar 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-22 15:04:18-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — A group of Natural Resource Departments (NRD) in the state say free well water testing is available for homeowners who were affected by flooding.

Papio-NRD said:

"The Papio-Missouri River NRD, Lower Platte South NRD and Midwest Laboratories, in cooperation with the Douglas County Health Department and Sarpy/Cass County Health Department, will offer a limited number of well water quality tests to private homeowners affected by flooding, at no expense to the homeowners."

The tests can determine if E. Coli, nitrates or other harmful elements have made it into well water sources.

Homeowners who get the kits are instructed to run an outdoor faucet or hydrant for an hour or until it appears clear, collect a sample and then deliver it to, Midwest Labs at 13611 B Street in Omaha within 24 hours of taking the sample.

Test kits can be picked up on Wednesday, March 27 at 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Sarpy/Cass Health Department, 701 Olson Drive, Suite 101, Papillion, NE
  • Louisville Senior Center, 423 Elm Street, Louisville, NE
  • Waterloo Fire Department, 405 7th Street, Waterloo, NE

If you are unable to pick up at a kit on the 27th, Papio-Missouri NRD says, "Test kits may also be obtained at each County Health Department, the P-MRNRD offices at Chalco Hills Recreation Area, or directly from Midwest Laboratories."

If your well is deemed to be infected, you are advised to:

"Contact a licensed well technician or follow the procedures prescribed by the health departments to disinfect the well with a mixture of bleach and water. The appropriate amount of bleach should be based on recommendations from the health department in accordance with the diameter and depth of the well. Please contact the Douglas County Health Department at 402-444-7481 or the Sarpy/Cass Health Department at 402-339-4334 for additional instructions and information."

Papio-Missouri NRD says well water should not be used used for drinking or cooking until a second test has determined that harmful bacteria and impurities are no longer present. The second sample should be collected 7-10 days after it has been disinfected.

Midwest Laboratories will cover 50% of the cost and the NRD departments will cover the rest.

You can contact the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District at 402-315-1708 for more information.