Weather Forecast


Free nitrate testing clinic in Park Rapids July 8-9

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and Hubbard County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will offer a free nitrate water-testing clinic July 8-9 at the county fairgrounds in Park Rapids.

Clinic hours will be 12 noon to 6 p.m. on July 8 and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 9. Contact Hubbard County SWCD at 732-0121 for additional details.

The clinic is the latest in a series of water-testing clinics sponsored by MDA. Nitrates are the most common contaminants in Minnesota's groundwater, and in some areas of the state a significant number of wells have high nitrate levels. With that in mind, experts recommend that homeowners who get their drinking water from wells should test their water regularly.

"Nitrates in drinking water can be a risk to human health," MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson said. "Public drinking water supplies are monitored for nitrates, but it's important for homeowners with private wells to check their water and take action if their water has high nitrates levels."

To participate in the testing homeowners are asked to bring at least a half-cup of water in a container. Allow the tap to run for up to 10 minutes to get a good sample, MDA advises.

This will determine if the system is working. Homeowners with just a water softener need to take one sample, either before or after the water passes through the water softener. Samples should be taken no more than 24 hours before the testing and must be kept refrigerated prior to testing. For more information about the clinic or how to take a water sample, contact Hubbard County SWCD's Shane Foley by phone at 732-0121.