Worried about well water quality? Visit the Silver City Farmers’ Market

SILVER CITY, NM (KRQE) – Have you been putting off getting a water well test because of the cost? Well, if you’re near Silver City, the farmers market has you covered.

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and Department of Health are conducting free well water tests at the Silver City Farmers’ Market on March 25th.

“Nothing gives you peace of mind like knowing the water you’re drinking is safe,” said Ground Water Quality Bureau Chief Justin Ball. “This water fair gives Silver City residents easy and affordable access to information about the quality of their private well water that they would otherwise have to pay for.”

Officials said they will be able to do about 100 free tests but will stop when supplies run out. To carry out the test, a sample of the water must be brought to market.

Follow these directions to prepare for the test:

  • Collect a sample –
    • Let the water run for 2-3 minutes
    • Fill a clean glass or plastic container with at least a liter or liter of well water
    • Collect water directly from the wellhead if you have any filtration systems
    • Fill the container close to the test time (This can be right before you go to the market.)
  • Collect the below data –
    • Well depth
    • Depth to water
    • Well casing material
    • Reach latitude, longitude
    • Distance from well to nearest septic tank or leach field system

Levels of pH, nitrates and arsenic will be measured in the tests and the results will be sent to households that provide the samples.

If you can’t make it to the market but want a friend or family member to take your sample, visit this link to see what information needs to be provided.

The test time is from 9:00 a.m. to 12pm at 901 N Pope Street in Silver City, home of the local farmers market.

This type of service is not entirely new. In fact, NMED said it has tested over 80 private wells since July 1, 2022. More information about water fairs can be found on NMED’s website or by calling the department at 505-827-2900.

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