Keeping drinking water safe is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy population in our district. The drinking water that is supplied to our homes comes from either surface water or ground water. Surface water collects in streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Ground water is located below the ground where it collects in pores and spaces within rocks and in underground aquifers. Ground water is then obtained by drilling well and pumping it to the surface. For more information on public water systems, visit CDC’s Public Water Systems page. For more information on how public water systems treat water, visit CDC’s Water Treatment page.
A private well uses ground water as its water source. Owners of private wells and other individual water systems are responsible for ensuring that their water is safe from contaminants. For more information on private wells and individual water systems, visit CDC’s Private Wells page.
Contamination of both public and private water sources can cause several serious health issues. The following are some of the most common sources of contaminants.
- Naturally occurring chemicals and minerals (for example, arsenic, radon, uranium)
- Local land use practices (fertilizers, pesticides, livestock, concentrated animal feeding operations)
- Manufacturing processes
- Sewer overflows
- Malfunctioning wastewater treatment systems (for example, nearby septic systems)
Water testing for private wells is available from the Nebraska Public Health Environmental Laboratory (NPHEL). To receive a sample kit, you must contact the laboratory and request a kit via phone or internet. A kit will be mailed to you.
There are two ways to order a water testing kit:
- Call the NPHEL at 402-471-3935 to request a kit
- Click here to order directly from the NPHEL website
Residents using a municipal or public water source system should not test their water. The municipality regularly tests the water supply for presence of contaminants.
For questions on water sampling and testing, please call the Nebraska Public Health Environmental Laboratory at 402-471-3935 or visit their website.