Van Buren Conservation District

Water Screening

Nitrate/Nitrite Screening for Wells

The Van Buren Conservation District screens drinking water for nitrates yearly in August.  This year’s screening will be from August 2nd on to August 6th from 8am to 4:30pm.  The screening is sponsored by the Van Buren Conservation District and the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP).  MAEAP and the water screening program is paid for by funds generated from Michigan pesticide and fertilizer registration and tonnage fees.  There is no cost to participate in this service.

The water screening is open to all Van Buren residents that are on private wells (non-municipal) for drinking water but is limited to 100 samples for the week.

The screening is for nitrates and nitrites which commonly appear in drinking water around ag communities.  Nitrates and nitrites in drinking water can result in nitrogen use on farm fields or treated lawns.

To sample your well please follow these directions:

  1. Pick a tap or faucet that supplies water that has not run through any treatment devices (water softener, carbon filter, RO system, etc.). An outdoor faucet often works well.
  2. Run the water for 20-30 minutes before collecting the sample. This will give the pump time to flush the water pressure tank and plumbing so you can collect a valid sample.  Disconnect any hoses before collecting the sample; do not sample through a hose.
  3. Rinse the sample bottle and lid thoroughly in the water to be sampled; then fill and cap the bottle.
  4. Label the bottle clearly with your name, the sample date, and the well name using a waterproof pen. Samples can be taken in any clean container, such as a glass jar, or other capped container.
  5. Deliver the sample within 24 hours of sampling and keep the sample dark and cold until it is dropped off at 1035 East Michigan Ave. in Paw Paw.

There will be a brief survey regarding the age, condition, and construction of the well that is to be completed with delivery of the sample. Please call the VBCD 269-657-4030×5 if you have any questions.

If you’ve missed this year’s screening but need a water test please see our Water Testing page.