RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Update March 20, 2017: The Washoe County Health District Free Water Testing Program is ending Thursday, March 23, 2017. Any North Valleys private well owner who wishes to have their well water tested for the presence of bacterial contamination must have their samples submitted to the Nevada State Laboratory by 3:00PM Thursday, March 23, 2017.
“Based on the laboratory data received and the low numbers of samples returned to the Nevada State Laboratory for analysis from the residential well testing program, we’re ending this sampling program,“ said Washoe County Environmental Health Services Director, Bob Sack. “As damage assessments of residential properties begin, the Health District will work on a case by case basis with individual well owners.”
Interested residents can learn more about the Washoe County Health District Environmental Health Services response to mitigation at www.washoecounty.us/health, follow on Facebook at facebook.com/wchdehs or call 775-328-2430 for the latest information regarding flood response activities.
Original Story: Take a look out Donna Robinson's back porch and you can see nothing but flood waters. The black bucket near the middle of the property is where you can find her well.
Inside she hasn't had her tap water on for a while. That's because she doesn't trust it. But she wants to take advantage of free water testing offered by Washoe County Health District.
”I mean, I already know it is contaminated because it's brown or tan or whatever color it is. Oh, I think it has been compromised by flood waters. Yeah, it is getting darker the longer it goes probably because I've had the well off,” says Robinson.
Robinson has had her pump shut off because she knew water that looked like this just wasn't worth drinking.
“Using bottled water to clean and we boil it and sterilize stuff. But it has been really hard. We can't cook in the house. It's been microwave dinners or microwaveable food because you can't clean any dishes. Paper plates,” says Robinson
She's going to take a sample of her water to see what exactly is swimming around in the tap.
“We have passed out in excess of 100 containers for the cause. We actually have gotten additional requests. The state lab has been helpful. We are going to give out an additional 200 sample kits ready to go,” says Jim English, a supervisor with Washoe County Health District Environmental Health
The health district has set up a radio station in Lemmon Valley in hopes of keeping residents updated. Information about the free water testing is being broadcast on 1150 AM and should be picked up within at least an eight-mile radius.
The health district is asking residents to take their samples to the state lab, next to the Anderson Health Sciences Building of the medical school down from the post office on UNR campus.
Results should be available in about three days.
Lemmon Valley residents can pick up those testing kits at Rancher’s Feed and Supply at 60 Surge Street in Lemmon Valley. Kits will soon be available in Cold Springs at Chuck’s Circle C Market.
For Silver Lake and Red Rock residents who want to test well water, kits can be picked up soon at Jackson’s Gas Station.
As soon as Robinson gets her test results, she says she will share them with us.