The Lower Loup Natural Resources District is now offering free water testing to well owners whose supply wells were encroached upon by flood waters. The NRD will test for bacteria in the samples dropped off at the NRD headquarters, 2620 Airport Drive, in Ord.
Lower Loup NRD General Manager Russell Callan said that flood waters could contaminate wells with fecal coliform bacteria, which is found in all Nebraska streams. E. coli is a specific strain of the bacteria and is associated with a variety of health problems. The presence of coliform or E. coli is an indication of water quality problems.
There are specific procedures for those taking samples for testing. The domestic water well sample must be delivered to the NRD within four hours of collections. Samples will be accepted from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The LLNRD should be notified that a sample is being delivered to the office. The sample must be taken in a sterile container, which the LLNRD can provide.
The Lower Loup NRD is not a certified testing center, but can provide early indications as to bacterial contamination. There are other labs which can provide certified testing for a fee. For more information, contact LLNRD Water Programs Assistant LeeAnn Smith at (308) 728-3221.