In recognition of National Drinking Water Week, the local nonprofit water testing lab, Community Science Institute, will be offering discounted coliform bacteria testing for residents with private wells. National Drinking Water Week raises awareness about drinking water protection and highlights the importance of the availability of safe drinking water.
Less than one percent (1%) of the Earth’s water is suitable for drinking. Protection of drinking water supplies, including both private wells and municipal sources, is a shared responsibility.
To ensure that private wells are safe for drinking, the New York State Department of Health recommends annual testing for coliform bacteria. Coliform bacteria is broad class of bacteria that can be found in plants, soils, animals, and animal waste. Most coliform bacteria do not cause disease, however, some strains of E.coli can cause serious illness. The test for total coliform bacteria is an indicator test, meaning that the presence of total coliform bacteria is an indication that other pathogenic bacteria may be present.
Municipal supplies are regularly tested for coliform bacteria and are treated with chlorine to eliminate the possibility that coliform bacteria is present. If your drinking water comes from a municipal source, it is not necessary to test your water for coliform bacteria. If your drinking water comes from a private well and you have not tested it within the last year, Drinking Water Week is an excellent reminder to test your water.
During National Drinking Water Week, CSIis offering a 20% discount on total coliform testing. Residents wishing to have their water tested must pick up a sterile container for collecting a water sample. Sample containers may be picked up at the CSI Lab, located at 95 Brown Road, Room 283 in Ithaca, Greenstar Natural Markets West End Store (by the filtered water sink), or the Trumansburg Shur-Save customer service desk. Samples must be brought to the CSI Lab the same day they are collected. Sample drop-off hours are Monday-Thursday 11AM-3PM. If you are unable to drop off during this time, call the lab at 607-257-6606 to find out how to make other arrangements.