Drinking Water Well Program
Boone County Participates in the Grants to Counties Program which helps residents to test their drinking water for contaminants and also to help with costs to properly plug abandoned wells, to reconstruct old wells to bring them up to safe standards.
Drinking Well Water testing Program: Private well owners can request a well water test once each year. Well water is tested for Total Coliform and E-Coli Bacteria, Nitrates and Sulfates under this program. To request a well test, call the Health & Sanitation Department at 515-433-0506 during business hours. In order to schedule a test, we must have a "Private Well Water Testing Background Information" form on file.
You may email, fax or mail the form to the Health & Sanitation Office, and once received, can schedule your free water test.
Interpreting your Water Test Results:
Total Coliform Bacteria: Coliform bacteria are naturally occurring bacteria found in nature. They do not necessarily make you sick. However, the presence of these bacteria in your water may mean that other harmful types of bacteria can also be present. Wells showing the presence of total Coliform Bacteria should be inspected for defects, the well shock chlorinated and follow up tested once flushed out.
E-Coli Bacteria: E-coli bacteria are a disease causing bacteria that are hazardous to your health. The presence of E-coli bacteria means that the water should not be consumed until repairs to the well, and or treatment to remedy the cause of contamination have been found. E-coli bacteria are often found from contamination sources involving fecal matter, such as animal manure or untreated human wastewater.
Nitrates: Nitrates are components of fertilizers and manure. The Maximum Contaminate Level (MCL) is 10 ppm. Exposures over 10 ppm can cause "Blue Baby Syndrome" in infants.
Sulfates: Sulfates are naturally occurring substances in our soil. High levels of sulfates in water can create taste and smell quality issues. These substances do not make you sick necessarily, however, drinking water with sulfate levels over 250 ppm can cause diarrhea in people not used to these sulfate levels.