MISSOURI -- Oregon County Health Department Administrator Shiela Russell said she recently received word that due to flooding in southern Missouri the state is waiving the fee for private well testing.
A news release from Gov. Matt Blunt's office said, "The flooding has devastated many Missouri communities and the safety of the water supply in some areas is a very real concern."
"Our emergency responders and state agencies are doing everything in their power to protect and assist Missourians who need help. By waiving these fees, Missourians will not have to pay to test the safety of their water supply and they will know with certainty if their water is safe to use," Blunt said,
According to Russell, a private water supply is defined as a water supply with 14 or fewer service connections or that serves no more than 24 people for at least 60 days of the year. She said any other water supply is considered a public water supply.
Russell said if the well casing is or was submerged in floodwater, do not use the water. She said if a well has been flooded it should be disinfected with chlorine.
"After the chlorine has been flushed from the well, people should send a sample of the disinfected water for testing to be sure that the water supply is safe. If there is floodwater standing around the well casing, but the well was not submerged in floodwater, people should have their water supply tested," Russell said.
Free testing kits are available at the Oregon County Health Departments at both Alton and Thayer.
Russell said after a homeowner tests their well water, they return it to either health department office and it is then sent to the state testing lab.
"We have a daily pick-up of well water test. In one to two weeks people should receive a copy of their test results in the mail at their home," she said.