UNL Research Aims to Test Nebraska Water Quality

Jodi Sangster, a postdoctoral civil engineer specializing in environmental engineering, takes a water sample from the well spigot of Jeanne Hevner's Martell, Nebraska, land July 1. (Craig Chandler, University of Nebraska Communication)
July 8, 2019 - 2:13pm

Researchers are looking for volunteers across eastern Nebraska to test the quality of their own water.


Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, University of Nebraska-Lincoln civil engineering professor, is leading the research. She said this is the fifth round of volunteer testing since the project started in 2018.

“I think people very much care about the environment that they live in," Bartelt-Hunt said. "I think everyone wants to know to make sure that their water is free of nutrients that it doesn’t have nutrients above the drinking water limit, or that would be unsafe to use for drinking without further treatment.”

Volunteers will collect data for the researchers with a provided test-kit and return via the mail or online entry. Bartelt-Hunt said the testing will focus specifically on nitrate, nitrite and phosphate levels in well and surface water.

She said previous research showed elevated nitrate levels in eastern Nebraska, but excess nutrients aren’t uncommon for agricultural regions, as natural or non-natural fertilizers deposit contain a lot of nutrients. People with damaged wells from flooding earlier this year are also welcome to apply. To apply for testing, click here.

 

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