HARTFORD — Games, giveaways, music and snacks are just a few of the things people can enjoy at the Healthy Home Fair Sept. 12. 

The event, put on by the Van Buren Conservation District, is 3-7 p.m. at Ely Park in Hartford. It is free and open to the public. 

“We wanted to highlight some of the things people can do in their homes and yards to keep their environment clean and healthy,” Erin Fuller of the Van Buren Conservation District said in a news release. “People don’t always know how to properly dispose of household chemicals, test their well water or maintain their septic systems, so we’ll be having some fun with activities, demonstrations and giveaways to help with some of these less-than-fun tasks.” 

Attendees can enter free drawings for chances to win $25 grocery gift cards, a rain barrel and septic system pump-out vouchers. Other giveaways will include tote bags, pet care supplies and tap water testing coupons.

Conservation district staff will perform well water testing for nitrates at the event. The screening is open to all Van Buren County residents that are on private water systems (non-municipal wells) for drinking water.

Follow these directions to sample a well:

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

• Run the water for 20-30 minutes before collecting the sample to flush the water pressure tank and plumbing so you can collect a valid sample. Do not sample through a hose.

• Rinse the sample bottle and lid thoroughly in the water to be sampled; then fill and cap the bottle. Any clean container can be used for sample collection.

• Label the bottle clearly with your name, the sample date, and the well name (ex. main home, back yard, barn) using a waterproof pen.

• Keep the sample dark and cold for up to 24 hours before bringing it to the Healthy Home Fair for testing. 

The fair is funded in part through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Nonpoint Source Program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For more information, contact the Van Buren Conservation District at 657-4030 Ext. 5 or visit www.vanburencd.org.