State offers free private well testing

The state Department of Public Health announced Thursday that it will provide free private well testing for the first 250 people who come to the DPH education booth at each of three Connecticut agricultural fairs.

The testing will be available at the Woodstock Fair from today to Monday; at the Bethlehem Fair from Sept. 5 to Sept. 7; and at the Durham Fair from Sept. 25 to Sept. 28.

The free test kits will allow homeowners to collect a sample from their private well and submit it for testing for arsenic and uranium. These naturally occurring metals are found in groundwater in sporadic locations across the state and can lead to adverse health effects, the health department said in a news release.

“Arsenic and uranium have no taste or odor and therefore the only way to know if they are present is to have your well water tested,” Dr. Jewel Mullen, state health commissioner, said. “We hope this limited opportunity helps raise awareness for all private well owners to test their well water for these toxic metals.”

Health department staff will be at a private well display booth at these fairs to answer questions about testing for other contaminants and provide information about water treatment methods to remove these contaminants. The department’s booth number at the Woodstock Fair will be No. 63.

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