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Manitoba Government Ensuring Free Private Well Water Testing

Posted on: July 8, 2022  |  

The following announcement may be of interest to cottagers with wells

Private Well and Cistern Owners Eligible for Free Water Testing until Aug. 31: Wharton

In response to widespread flooding, the Manitoba government is providing additional support to private well and cistern owners by fully subsidizing costs associated with water supply testing, Environment, Climate and Parks Minister Jeff Wharton announced today.

“Our government recognizes that spring flooding has caused many challenges for Manitoba homeowners and we are here to offer our support,” said Wharton. “All Manitobans with a private water system affected by flooding should test their water once floodwaters recede to help keep their loved ones safe.”

Free water testing for private well and cistern owners will be available at Horizon Lab Ltd. Costs will be waived for private well and cistern owners for drinking water tested between April 1 and Aug. 31. Individuals who previously paid for their water tests at Horizon Lab in Winnipeg are eligible for reimbursement.

“We encourage everyone with a private water system that may have been affected by flooding, to test their water once flood waters recede, to ensure their drinking water is safe during a season of elevated risk,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer. “Preventing the risk of waterborne disease is important, and we want well and cistern owners to take steps to protect themselves.”

Manitobans are reminded to test their private water supply at least once a year and after flooding, noted the minister. Homeowners who suspect their well or cistern might be compromised by flooding should have their water tested for bacteria once floodwaters recede and boil their drinking water until testing confirms it is safe to use.

Indicators that a water well may have been affected by flooding include:

  • a change in the taste, odour or appearance of the well water;
  • laboratory tests show bacteria in the well water or other wells nearby; and
  • water lying around the well head or collecting in the well pit or around other wells nearby.

In order to be eligible for this subsidy, samples must be sent to Horizon Lab Ltd. at 4055 Portage Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3K 2E8. For information on reimbursement of prior testing, as well as sample collection, shipping and test results, contact the laboratory directly at 204-488-2035.

Flooding and Well Water Safety fact sheet and other flood-related information, is available at: www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/spring_outlook/wellwater_safety_factsheet.pdf.

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