BERRIEN SPRINGS — The Berrien Conservation District and the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) will sponsor a free drinking water well screening from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on June 26 and June 27, officials said.

Residents are encouraged to bring their water samples to the Berrien Conservation District Office at 3334 Edgewood Road, Berrien Springs, for testing.

Samples from drinking water wells will be screened for nitrate and nitrite. The screening is open to everyone who uses a personal well for drinking water. Forms should be filled out in advance and are available at the conservation district office or online at www.berriencd.org, or people may fill out a form when they arrive. This service is for private drinking water wells only. Public water supplies are tested regularly. Please do not bring samples from public water supplies or non-drinking water sources. Only drinking water well samples will be tested. A special bottle is not required, as any small clean jar will work – 1 ounce of water is enough.

Residents are asked to follow these directions:

• Collect samples just before bringing them to be sampled. Samples must be less than 48 hours old for a valid nitrate result.

• Fill out the water sample information sheet. (These will also be available when people bring a sample in.)

• Pick a tap that supplies water that has not run through any treatment devices (water softener, carbon filter, etc.). An outdoor faucet often works well.

• Run the water for 20-30 minutes before collecting the sample. Do not sample through a hose. Rinse the sample bottle and lid thoroughly in the water to be sampled.

• Label the bottle your name, date, and the well name (cottage well, Mom’s well, etc.) using a waterproof pen.

• Keep the sample dark and cold (on ice or refrigerated) until it is dropped off.

All results are confidential. People will get their results as well as information on what to do, should nitrite or nitrates show up in drinking water. If you do not wish to wait a few minutes for your results you may just drop off the sample along with your completed form.

More information is available from the Berrien Conservation District office at 471-9111, ext. 3, at www.berriencd.org, or email suzanne.forrahtmi.nacdnet.net.