Public Health: The importance of testing your well water quality

According to a recent survey, a substantial percentage of households in northwest Helena that get their drinking water from wells showed elevated levels of arsenic, uranium, or nitrates. What does that mean? First, let’s look at where our drinking water comes from and why it’s important to have your drinking water tested.

Where does our drinking water come from?

All drinking water starts as rain or snow, which falls to the ground and runs off into streams or lakes. This is called surface water. It also seeps down through the soil and rock into underground aquifers. This is called groundwater. As water moves, it picks up traces of minerals, salts, and other substances that are present in the earth.

How is our drinking water tested?

Most of the water in Lewis and Clark County is safe to drink, but the only way to know for sure is to collect a sample and have it tested. If you live in the cities of Helena and East Helena, or are a resident in subdivisions connected to non-municipal public water supplies, water testing is already done for you.

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