New program to make water testing easier in Northwestern Vt.

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The Department of Health is making it easier for Vermonters who live in Franklin and Grand Isle counties to make sure their well water is safe to drink.

As part of a new pilot project, homeowners in northwestern Vermont can now drop off water samples closer to home, at the St. Albans Local Health Office. They will then be taken to the Health Department Laboratory in Colchester for testing.

Health department officials say 30 percent of Vermonters depend on well water, but only a small fraction of those households get their water tested for impurities

"We know that drinking water changes over time. There are contaminants in the water. And we want to make sure that people are not going to get sick if there are any health and safety issues -- that they have tested their water on a regular basis," said the department's Judy Ashley.

Because many of these water samples must arrive at the lab within 30 hours, this free drop-off service will help customers avoid the cost of shipping the samples overnight or having to bring them to the lab themselves.

The drop off is at the health department offices on Federal Street in St. Albans.

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