Dept. of Natural Resources: Offering free well water screening at Farm Technology Days

Stacy Steinke
DNR Private Water Field Supervisor 

BARABOO, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced they will provide free well water testing for nitrate at Farm Technology Days in Baraboo July 18-20.

Nitrate is the most common health-related contaminant found in Wisconsin’s groundwater. The DNR will offer free on-the-spot screening, and results will be available in only a few minutes. Those interested should bring one cup of well water in any clean container to booth 719 and look for the DNR’s Drinking Water and Groundwater Program table.

“About 10% of private wells statewide may contain high levels of nitrate, and almost one-third of private well owners have never had their water tested for nitrate,” said Stacy Steinke, DNR Private Water Field Supervisor.

Infants or pregnant women should not consume water with nitrate-nitrogen levels greater than 10 mg/L. DNR staff will be on hand to answer questions and may recommend additional testing if elevated nitrate levels are detected.

Staff will also be available to answer questions about the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) well grant programs. The ARPA well compensation grant program provides funding to eligible landowners, renters or Wisconsin business owners to replace, reconstruct or treat contaminated private water supplies and to fill and seal unused wells. If eligible, well owners could receive up to $16,000. 

You can find more information about nitrate in drinking water and ARPA well grant programs on the DNR website.

About Wisconsin Farm Technology Days
Wisconsin Farm Technology Days is a three-day outdoor event showcasing the latest developments in production agriculture, including practical applications and recent research and technological developments.

From wildlife management to UTV safety and water quality, DNR staff will be hosting multiple booths to provide information and answer questions from the public.

This is the only farm show of its size in the United States that is organized and run entirely by volunteers. As the largest outdoor agricultural event in the state, it welcomes more than 45,000 attendees, with more than 500 commercial and educational vendors. The first event was held in Waupaca County in 1954.