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Reduced fee water testing still available for county residents

Published: Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014 1:26 p.m.CDT • Updated: Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 12:05 a.m.CDT

WOODSTOCK – There is still time for individual well water users to get reduced fee water testing during August from the McHenry County Department of Health. Residents can have their well water sampled for coliform bacteria and nitrate for $18.

Health department officials said testing wells regularly is the only way to determine whether well water is safe to drink as many contaminants are colorless and odorless.

Water from a public or municipal water system is regularly tested for contaminants regulated by federal and state standards.

Bacteria and chemicals can get into well water and contaminate it in different ways. Some bacteria and chemicals occur naturally. Contaminants such as nitrate can come from animal waste, wastewater, flooded sewers, polluted stormwater runoff, fertilizers, agricultural runoff or decaying plants.

High levels of nitrate in drinking water can cause illness in young children and pregnant women. Coliform bacteria are microbes found in the digestive systems of warm-blooded animals, in soil, on plants and in surface water.

The health department will test water from private wells for nuisance chemicals resulting in water hardness, iron, discoloration and odor. Additional charges will apply.

Sampling kits can be picked up at health department locations in Woodstock, Crystal Lake or at one of eight drop-off centers. Samples can be dropped off for testing on Tuesday mornings between 9 a.m. and noon at the following sites:

• Algonquin Township Office, 3702 Route 14, Crystal Lake, 847-639-2329

• Dorr Township Office, 1039 Lake Ave., Woodstock, 815-338-0125

• McHenry County Department of Health, 100 N. Virginia St., Crystal Lake, 815-459-5151

• McHenry County Department of Health, 2200 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock, 815-334-4585

• McHenry Township Office, 3703 Richmond Road, McHenry, 815-385-5605

• Nunda Township Office, 3510 Bay Road, Crystal Lake, 815-459-4011

• City of Marengo, City Hall, 134 E. Prairie St., Marengo, 815-568-7112

• City of Harvard, Police Department, 201 W. Front St., Harvard, 815-943-4431

• Richmond Township Office, 7812 S. Route 31, Richmond, 815-678-0077

• Grafton Township Office, 10109 Vine St., Huntley, 847-669-3328

For more information, contact MCDH’s Environmental Health Division at 815-334-4585 or visit"> www.mcdh.info.

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