Residents in Rockingham and Augusta Counties whose water comes from a well, spring, or cistern can learn more about the quality of their water through several upcoming Virginia Cooperative Extension Drinking Water Clinics. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.
At the clinics, which happen every two years, residents learn how to collect a water sample from their tap, and more; at later dates they drop off the sample and then return for explanation of their confidential test results and information about options for handling any problems.
Cristin Sprenger is Senior Extension Agent with the Virginia Cooperative Extension. She estimates that about half of Augusta and Rockingham county residents drink private water.
CRISTIN SPRENGER: As a private water source, no one is monitoring your water, so the only person who's going to make sure that your water is safe to drink is you. You just don’t know unless you test.
It can difficult -- and sometimes practically impossible -- to know where contamination comes from.
SPRENGER: This area is limestone karst topography. You can have water being contaminated from as close as your yard or next door neighbor, to 5 or 10 miles away.
In Rockingham County, kick-off meetings are on June 1 and 6, and in Augusta County on June 5. At those meetings, first-time and repeat attendees can opt to purchase water tests for chemical and bacteriological constituents, for $55.