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Private Well Water is Unregulated

Contaminated well water can cause diseases and health problems ranging from acute illnesses, such as diarrheal diseases, to cancers. These problems are more likely to occur in rural areas since many rural residents depend on water supply from unregulated, private sources such as water wells. It is the owner’s responsibility to test and maintain their household drinking water, and testing is recommended annually. 

 

The Oklahoma Well Owners Network (OWON) program offers free water quality screening of household wells in collaboration with county Extension offices and other community partners. During scheduled testing events, Oklahomans that utilize a residential well for their drinking water can collect a water sample and submit for a free basic water test 

 

This program is a service provided by OSU Cooperative Extension and the Oklahoma Water Resources Center with funding support from the Center for Disease Control and the USDA Rural DaSHE program.

 

How do I get my water tested?

Come to an OWON Event

  • See below for upcoming events!
  • Submitted water samples are tested for nitrates, total dissolved solids, arsenic, pH and bacteria levels. Test results are conveyed to well owners via email within one-week.

What if there isn’t a testing event scheduled near me?

  • Contact your County Extension office or email the water center (water@okstate.edu). If there is enough interest in your area, we will organize a testing event.

What if I need my water tested now?

  • You can visit with your local County Extension office to get a sample bottle that they can send into the OSU Soil Water and Forage Laboratory for a water test. This option costs ~$18. This test covers many areas but not bacteria.
  • If you want a bacteria test or if you need a certified test, you can go through the Oklahoma DEQ.

 

How to collect your sample:

*NOTE: If you are interested in bacterial testing, your sample must be collected within 2 hours of event.

 

 

Helpful Links:

 

Partners of the OWRC

  • Oklahoma State Department of Health
  • Oklahoma State University Environmental Science
  • OSU Rural Renewal Initiative
  • Oklahoma Cooperative Extension
  • OSU Center for Rural Health
  • Southeast Oklahoma Library System

 

Upcoming Events

  • Atoka County | March 1, 2024 | 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. | Atoka County Library | 279 E A St., Atoka, OK 74525

  • Harper County | March 13, 2024 | 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. | Buffalo High School | 1275 N 190 Rd. Buffalo, OK 73834

    • A collaborative event with Blue Thumb, please contact Harper County Conservation District 580-735-2418 for more information

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