Community Health Agency offering information about home-water testing

The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency is offering assistance with learning more about the facts related to arsenic and a home-water test.
Arsenic is a natural-occurring element found in rocks and soil, and is used for a variety of purposes within industry and agriculture. It has no smell or taste in drinking water.
According to Rebecca Burns, environmental health director for the tri-county health department, Branch, Hillsdale and St. Joseph Counties have all had reports of well water samples that exceed the 10 micrograms per liter. Branch and St. Joseph Counties have had reports that tested up to 50 micrograms per liter.
The results mean there are pockets of groundwater that have concentrations well beyond acceptable levels defined by the EPA, according to Burns.
Household water supplies provided by a well are encouraged to conduct a test to assure its safety.
Testing is easy to do, but there is an $18 fee associated with testing. Sample bottles must be obtained from the county health department office.
The agency’s website is: bhsj.org. The St. Joseph County office is at 1110 Hill St., in Three Rivers.

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