Jessica Mathews /

Free well water testing is available to Livingston County residents and others across Michigan.

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) recently announced a special program to help families know the quality of their well water. EGLE and local health departments (LHD) are working together to ensure that safe drinking water is a priority.

Last year, the Michigan Legislature appropriated $5 (m) million to provide free well water testing for Michigan residents who rely on a household or private well for their drinking water.

Officials say water from private wells may sometimes not be safe to drink. A press release states “EGLE and the LHDs want to help families know if their water is safe to drink, and this free well water testing will help get them that answer”.

Most wells get checked when they are first built; however, EGLE and the LHDs advise that water wells should be checked more frequently as water quality may change over time. Testing can determine if there have been any water quality changes to a well that could be harmful to those who drink and use that well water.

Many different substances may be found in well water that could be harmful and may cause illness including bacteria; nitrates; and some metals, such as arsenic. Residents who test through this free program will have the assistance of the LHD to help determine next steps if test results show a problem with their well water quality.

The free testing program is described as the first step in knowing if the water in a private well is safe, and steps to take if an issue is found.

More information is available in the provided link.