Free nitrate testing coming up at National Trout Center

The National Trout Center, Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District and the Minnesota Well Owners Organization will be hosting a Well and Stream Water Nitrate Testing Clinic on Saturday, Feb. 16, at the National Trout Center.

Area residents are invited to bring a water sample to the clinic to test for nitrates, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The testing is free and samples will be analyzed within 15 minutes.

Residents can bring as many water samples as they want from local wells, springs, ponds, streams and rivers.  

After five years of this Citizen Science nitrate screening, collected data has confirmed the scientific studies that show the patterns of nitrate distribution in local karst landscape.  The surrounding areas with shallow bedrock, sinkholes and springs are heavily impacted by nitrates.  This ongoing effort gives neighboring landowners and farmers the information they need to protect water resources.

While waiting for samples to be analyzed, participants can try water samples from three different local wells.  There will also be coffee and other refreshments available.

Participants might talk to hardy local anglers about winter trout fishing, or, visit with water experts from the Minnesota Well Owners Organization (MnWOO) or talk with neighbors about water, aquifers and well protection.  

Visitors will see the most up-to-date information about nitrates and wells in the Driftless Area including data from the last four years of testing.  

Bring water samples in a clean plastic or glass container.  Include the location and date they were collected and any other details.  Please have a minimum of one cup (8 ounces) of water minimum.  Two cups are OK, but not necessary.  Everything is free.

Bring samples to the National Trout Center, 120 St. Anthony, Preston.