The Town of Colfax completed 29 well water tests in late 2020 and early 2021 throughout the township. As part of the Town’s Comprehensive Plan the goal was to ascertain the current quality of our citizens’ drinking water as virtually all town citizens rely on private wells. The tests included bacteria coliform and nitrogen-nitrate/nitrite as both are considered indicators of water contamination that could impact the health of those drinking the water.
The results showed
- 45% of the wells had 2mg/L nitrate or lower which is considered natural levels of nitrate.
- 34% of the wells had nitrate levels from 2 to 9.9 mg/L indicating some preventable contamination of the water.
- 21% of the wells had nitrate levels above 10 mg/L indicating children less than 6 months and pregnant women should not drink the water and all persons should avoid long-term consumption of that water.
Two wells did show coliform bacteria present however these tests needed to be redone as test results can easily be skewed through sampling errors.
The sample results demonstrate the importance of routine well water testing and an awareness of what can impact the quality of drinking water to protect each Town citizen’s health. Based on comparison to previous town well water samples, nitrate level trends in the township are increasing. It is important for all well owners to test their water on a regular basis and it is very helpful for well owners to share their results with the Dunn County Public Health and Dunn County Land and Water Conservation Division so they can monitor the county well water quality and continue efforts to address well water contamination in the County.
The Colfax Plan Commission invited the Dunn County Conservationist, Chase Cummings and the Dunn County Water Specialist, Heather Wood, to give a presentation discussing groundwater quality, the results of the Town Water Testing Program and possible causes and solutions to well water contamination. To hear the Cummings/Wood presentation and the Q&A that followed, click here. To obtain a water sampling kit, contact Heather Wood at (715) 232-1496, Ext. 7, firstname.lastname@example.org