Free well water testing is available to Farm Bureau members in Ohio

Testing kits will be available to members who pre-register with their county organization by Feb. 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. Ohio Farm Bureau is paying for the cost of the nitrate analysis, which is $25 per sample. Testing for pesticides ($60) and metals ($75) is available at an additional cost. These additional costs need to be paid when the water test kit(s) are picked up.

The testing kits for Belmont, Guernsey, Monroe and Noble counties will be available for pickup at the Farm Bureau office, 100 Colonel Drive, Barnesville, the week of March 19, during regular business hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday 8:30 a.m. to noon.

The water sample must be returned to the Farm Bureau office in Barnesville on Monday, April 2, during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Lab results typically take two to three weeks and will be mailed to homeowners.

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."

To preregister, contact the Farm Bureau office in Barnesville at 740-425-3681 or 866-855-7190.

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.