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Knox County Illinois Soil and Water Conservation District

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Water Sampling & Soil Test Kits

The Knox County Soil and Water Conservation District offers lawn/garden soil testing kits through SGS Mowers Soil Testing Plus, INC. and is a holding place for the Knox County Health Department well water sample bottles.

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Get the most out of your lawn and garden!

Analyze your soil before you fertilize!

Soil Testing Kits Available

 

Test your lawn and garden for pH level, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, organic matter, cation exchange capacity, and percent saturation.

 

Kits include instructions, sampling probe, and mailing materials. The $25 kit also includes the processing of one sample (approximately 1 cup of 5 separate soil cores) and a professional report with fertilizer recommendations as well as an information sheet on lawn, garden, tree or shrub fertility.

 

The soil testing kits are available at the Knox County SWCD office. Call (309) 342-5714 ext. 3 for more information.

What You Need To Know About Private Drinking Water Wells
Don't just wish for safe water - Test for it!

The Knox County SWCD is a holding place along with Farm Bureau for the Knox County Health Department’s water sampling bottles. Bottles to test for Nitrates are $20.00, Coliform is $20.00 or you can purchase both bottles for $25.00. Checks can be made payable to the Health Department.

 

EPA Citizen’s Bulletin http://www.epa.state.il.us/newsletter/ 

Groundwater is the source of fresh water for households with private and public wells. However, it can become contaminated by bacteria, manmade chemicals and naturally occurring elements. Drinking water in Illinois is much cleaner and safer today than in the past, but the only way to ensure that your well water is safe is to test it. This is especially important for wells located near current or former commercial or industrial areas, gas stations or agricultural areas.

In recent years, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been found in groundwater in many areas of the state where there is a history of commercial and industrial development. These facilities include dry cleaners, auto repair shops, printing shops, and the metal fabrication industry that have previously used solvents. In addition, gas stations, other storage tanks (above ground and underground) and spills can lead to gasoline related chemicals and fuels that have the potential to reach groundwater supplies. Handling of these chemicals was not regulated in the past and often dumped or spilled on the ground sometimes causing groundwater contamination.

VOCs are often unrecognizable and can cause adverse health effects. Therefore, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Department of Public Health encourage the estimated 400,000 Illinois households served by their own private drinking water wells to get them tested for potential contamination. As you know, clean, healthy drinking water is essential for good health. If you drink private well water, make sure it’s safe for you and your family.

The agencies recommend an annual test for coliform bacteria and nitrate. The presence of bacteria in well water indicates contamination by human or animal wastes that can cause infectious diseases. Nitrate contamination is usually caused by faulty septic systems or agricultural leaching and is especially dangerous for infants. Bacteria and nitrate testing is offered by most local health departments for a nominal fee. Also, it is highly recommended that you test for VOCs if you live in an urban or suburban area with business, industry or gas stations nearby. Wells in rural areas that may be affected by leaking fuel tanks should also test for VOCs. A list of laboratories accredited to analyze water samples for VOCs can be found on the Illinois Well Water web page.

It is also important to be aware of other potential contaminates, such as lead, organics, metals, herbicides and pesticides. Considering that contamination issues can be partly based on where you live, you should consult your local health department for recommendations on private well water testing. The private well water web site also provides information and resources that will help you maintain safe drinking water in your well. It includes information on testing and interpreting test results, treating contaminated well water, maintaining wells and septic systems, constructing wells, as well as links for additional information. Protect your investment in a quality water supply through regular inspection, testing and repair or treatment.

 
Knox County SWCD
233 S. Soangetaha Rd.
Galesburg, IL  61401

Phone: (309) 342-5714 ext.3 
Fax: (855) 289-5179

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8- 4:30 p.m.

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