Private well owners responsible for PFAS testing

Wisconsin DNR has more information on how to test on their website
Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 2:01 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Wednesday, the city of Wausau announced PFAS were found in the city wells. Following the news, several private residential homeowners called Channel 7 asking if their wells were also affected.

PFAS are sometimes called “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in the environment. The man-made chemicals are used in products like clothing and carpet, nonstick cookware and packaging.

The answer to the question would only be available on a well-by-well basis, and at the sole cost and responsibility of the homeowner.

Private wells are not subject to routine water testing. Although it is recommended wells be tested yearly, it may only occur during the buying or selling process of a home. Since 2014, the state required private wells to be tested for three contaminants - coliform bacteria, which includes E. coli, nitrate and arsenic for real estate transfers. A PFAS test would not be conducted as part of the routine testing during the sale of a home.

The cost to test for PFAS in private wells can range up to a few hundred dollars. Tests can be purchased through Northern Lake Service in Crandon. Click here to purchase a test.

Well owners can also purchase standard and other specialized water tests through the Marathon County Health Department. Tests are available for containment such as nitrates, arsenic, and bacteria among other things.

Click here to purchase a standard test through the Marathon County Health Department.

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