Vernon County Health Department now able to test for nitrates in public and private drinking water

VIROQUA, Wis. (WKBT) — Health officials in Vernon County say they are now certified by the Wisconsin DNR to test drinking water for nitrates at their in-house lab.

Nitrates are the most common groundwater contaminant in the state, and can cause birth defects, blue baby syndrome, thyroid disease and certain types of cancers. Levels over 10 milligrams per liter can be harmful. It’s estimated that at least 10% of private water wells in the state have high levels of nitrates.

Residents can pick up a test kit at the health department located at 318 Fairlane Drive in Viroqua. Tests cost $30. Samples can be returned any time between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Results should be available in 1-2 weeks.

Questions can be directed to health@vernoncounty.org.