Have you ever had the drinking water from your well, spring or cistern tested for lead and other health-related pollutants? If not, here is your chance.

Penn State Extension has received funding from the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to provide no-cost drinking water testing to a limited number of homeowners in Lancaster County using private water wells, springs or cisterns. The testing is for private water supplies that are actively being used for drinking water in the household or rental unit. Camps or seasonal households that are not continuously used are not eligible for this program. The commercial value of this water testing would be $125.

This testing is limited to the first 45 households using a private well, spring or cistern that register online at https://extension.psu.edu/safe-drinking-water-workshop or by calling Penn State Extension toll-free at 877-345-0691.

Once you register, you can pick up your drinking water test kit at the Penn State Extension office in Lancaster County in the Farm & Home Center - 1383 Arcadia Road, Room 140, Lancaster, PA 17601. Instructions on how to collect the water sample are included in the kit.

The kits must be dropped off at the Extension office between 8:30 a.m. and noon on either Sept. 30 or Oct. 14 (the exact drop-off date will be provided in your test kit).

Individual water samples will be analyzed for numerous drinking water parameters including total coliform bacteria, E. coli bacteria, pH, total dissolved solids, hardness, alkalinity, corrosivity, nitrate, arsenic, copper and lead. Results of your testing will be available during two separate one-hour workshops to be held at 2 p.m. or 6 p.m. on Nov. 7 at the Penn State Extension office (1383 Arcadia Road, Lancaster). You will be asked to attend one of these workshops to get your water test results. A brief 30-minute presentation will also be given including professional interpretation of your results and information on how to solve drinking water problems.

If you have any questions about this no-cost testing program contact the Lancaster Extension Office at 717-394-6851 or lancasterext@psu.edu.

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