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Health Department Offers Well Water Test Kits

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Due to the recent flooding, health officials are concerned with residents' well water. Due to the recent flooding, health officials are concerned with residents' well water.
The test takes about 24 hours. If it glows, the water is not suitable for consumption. The test takes about 24 hours. If it glows, the water is not suitable for consumption.

By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Monday's flooding caused all kinds of havoc around the metro area. And health officials are worried about possible contamination to well water.

The floods left so much standing water it could have leaked into some backyard wells. But the Health Department is ready to test wells for free.

Testing well water is nothing new at the City-County Health Department. Usually there's a fee, but the fee has been waived, and the testing is free, because the flooding was so widespread and the potential for pollution so great.

"It could cause gastro-intestinal diseases if, of course the water is contaminated," said Brad Finkhouse with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department. "Runoff water of course picks up waste from animals and then of course along with that waste comes intestinal pathogens."

The Water Resources Board has issued permits for about 6,000 water wells in Oklahoma County. But the actual number of wells in the county may be closer to14, 000. A sample taken out of the tap of Debbi Bryant's well in northeast Oklahoma City suggests she has reason for concern.

"My husband has had some health problems, and we're worried about bacteria in the water," said Bryant. "So I thought it would just be a good idea to get it tested."

Bryant was one of the first to bring in a sample, but the Health Department is expecting many more well owners will drop in to pick up a testing kit.

"We've had multiple calls from people around the community that are interested in having their water tested," Finkhouse said.

The test takes about 24 hours. If it glows, don't drink the water.

Learn about the free well testing program.

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