BUHL, Idaho (KLIX) — Private well owners can get their water tested for arsenic and nitrate at the upcoming Buhl Community Health and Information Fair.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality is partnering with the City of Buhl to offer the free screening to well owners from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at Popplewell Elementary School, 200 N. 6th Ave.

To participate in the free screening, DEQ said well owners are advised to take the following steps on the morning of Feb. 19:

  • Identify a source that is not connected to a treatment device (water softener, carbon filter, or other filtration system). An outside faucet or hydrant works best.
  • Locate two clean glass jars with lids or Ziploc bags to collect the water samples. Label the outside with your name or address, date, and well name (garden well or house well). Separate samples are needed to screen for nitrate and arsenic.
  • Allow the water to run 5-10 minutes to empty the pressure tank so water comes directly from the aquifer, which leads to more accurate results.
  • In separate containers, collect 1/2 cup of water for nitrate and 2 cups for arsenic.
  • Keep the samples cool.

Magic Valley Labs sample bottles will be available at the health fair for those who would like to submit samples for a more accurate analysis, according to the news release. Instructions and cost will be available at that time.

For more information, contact Irene Nautch at DEQ's Twin Falls Regional Office at irene.nautch@deq.idaho.gov or (208) 736-2190.