Home » Green County Annual Drinking Water Testing
Most people living in rural areas rely on private wells to supply their drinking water needs. While
public and municipal wells are regulated to ensure water quality meets current drinking water
standards, private well owners must assume the responsibility of testing and treating water to
ensure it is safe to drink. Groundwater specialists strongly encourage rural residents to test their
water annually for bacteria and nitrate.
The Extension Green County office, in partnership with the townships in Green County,
coordinates an annual drinking water testing program. These tests are solely for educational
purposes and do not have any regulatory component. Individual testing results are not reported
to any regulatory agency.
Following the drinking water testing program, Extension Green County hosts an educational program on drinking water quality. Households that test their drinking water as part of this program may ask questions about their specific test results. This program is open to anyone interested in learning about drinking water quality. Extension water quality experts will discuss how to protect your drinking water, how to get your water tested, interpret water test results and address unsafe drinking water, as well as provide information about water construction, maintenance, and abandonment.
If you want to test your water in 2024, you can participate in our annual drinking water testing program.
- Choose one, two, or all three of the test options that are explained below.
- Pick up and pay for your drinking water testing bottle(s)at the time/location most convenient for you on Wednesday, March 13th, Thursday, March 14th, or Friday, March 15th or Saturday, March 16th, 2024. Participation in this program will be available on a “first come, first serve” basis. Make checks payable to: Green County UW-Extension. (Times/Location to be available soon)
- Drop off your water sample(s)on Monday, March 18th, at the same site where you picked up the empty bottle(s).
- Test Results will be mailed before Tuesday, May 14th, 2024 when you can participate in an educational program that will help you understand your test results. The educational program is designed to help you interpret your results and learn about the quality of your area’s groundwater and what you can do to keep your water safe. Experts will be on hand to answer your drinking water and groundwater questions.
This is an educational program only, designed to help well owners learn more about the quality of their drinking water. Individual test results are not reported to any regulatory agency.
Available Drinking Water Tests
Homeowner Package ($66)
Includes tests for nitrate, coliform bacteria, pH, alkalinity, hardness, conductivity, corrosivity, and chloride.
- Bacteria – Coliform bacteria test is used to indicate the sanitary condition of your water supply The presence of coliform bacteria in a water sample indicates a potential pathway for bacteria, viruses, and parasites from human or animal waste that can cause disease. Well owners are encouraged to perform this test annually, or any time you notice a sudden change in taste, color, or odor.
- Nitrate – Infants less than six months of age and pregnant mothers should not drink water containing more than 10 parts per million nitrate- nitrogen because of concerns related to methemoglobinemia, a potentially fatal condition that reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood of The source of nitrate contamination is generally fertilizers, septic sewers, and manure. Because nitrate moves readily through soil and groundwater, elevated levels may also indicate the presence of other contaminants.
Metals Package ($60)
Includes tests for arsenic, lead, copper, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese, sodium, sulfate, and potassium.
- Arsenic – Water flowing through geologic materials that contain arsenic can sometimes dissolve levels that are a concern for human health.
- Lead & Copper – Lead and copper can be leached into the water from copper pipes or lead solder (typically used in pre-1985 plumbing).
- Iron – This is a naturally occurring trace While not a health concern, it causes taste and color problems.
- Zinc – A trace metal that is toxic in elevated concentrations, zinc comes from corrosion of galvanized plumbing or water
Triazine-Type Pesticide Screen ($40)
If your well is located within 1/4 mile of a corn, soybean, or vegetable field or within 1/4 mile of where pesticides are manufactured, stored, mixed, or loaded into application equipment, you should consider testing your well for pesticides.
- Diaminochlorotriazine (DACT) Screen – Atrazine is a commonly applied pesticide used to control weeds in corn fields and has been found in Wisconsin’s groundwater. The DACT screen helps homeowners understand the likelihood that water exceeds health-based groundwater standards for atrazine and other triazine-type It is a good first indicator of pesticide contamination in wells and can help you decide whether additional pesticides may also be a concern.
Get all three for $161 — a savings of $5
Even if your tests are taken through another program, you can contact Victoria Solomon with Extension Green County or Kevin Masarik with the Center for Watershed Science and Education with questions about understanding test results and options for managing your drinking water
How to Request a Copy of a DNR Well Constructor’s Report
There are a number of resources available from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on well construction reports. These resources are available online: WIsconsin DNR-Information for Private Well Owners and please note this is for private well owners only.
Care and Maintenance of Residential Septic Systems
The Care and Maintenance of Residential Septic Systems document is helpful in understanding residential septic systems and how to properly maintain them.
Wisconsin Well Construction Reports
For an online database of well construction reports in Wisconsin, view the Wisconsin Well Construction Reports.
You and Your Well
This You and Your Well publication by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources provides information about well construction in Wisconsin. It is helpful for people who are considering building a new home or replacing or upgrading an existing water supply.
The following aggregated test results from the annual drinking water testing programs are below. Individual well results are not shared with anyone other than the well owner.
- Results: Spring 2023 (Decatur, Spring Grove, and Sylvester)
- Slides 2023 Groundwater and Drinking Water Education Program
- Results: Spring 2022 (Brooklyn and Mt Pleasant)
- Slides 2022 Groundwater and Drinking Water Education Program
- Education Program Video: 2022 Green County Groundwater and Drinking Water Education Program
- Results: Spring 2021 (Adams, New Glarus, Washington, and York)
- Slides: 2021 Groundwater and Drinking Water Education Program
- Education Program Video: 2021 Green County Groundwater and Drinking Water Education Program
- Results: Spring 2020 (Cadiz, Jordan, and Monroe)
- Slides: Groundwater and Drinking Water Education Program
- Education Program Video: 2020 Green County Groundwater and Drinking Water Education Program
- Results: Spring (Decatur, Jefferson, Spring Grove, and Sylvester)
- 2018 Groundwater and Drinking Water Education Program
- Results: Summer (Albany, Brooklyn, Mt. Pleasant, and New Glarus
- 2017 Groundwater and Drinking Water Education Program
- Results: Fall (Cadiz, Clarno, Jordan, Monroe)
- 2015 Groundwater and Drinking Water Education Presentation