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New food safety videos available in English, Hmong and Spanish - testing water on the farm

Annalisa Hultberg, Extension Educator, food safety

We use water on the farm for many purposes including irrigation, mixing sprays, cleaning, handwashing, washing vegetables, frost protection and more. Well water is the most common source of water used on the farm in Minnesota, but some farmers also use surface water sources or municipal or rural water sources. 

If you use ground or surface water, it is very important to test this water each year for the presence of bacteria. A cracked well casing, wildlife intrusion around the well head, improperly capped well, leaking septic, recent maintenance, improper grading, cracked concrete pad and other factors can all allow surface contamination to seep into your well. If surface contamination gets in, there is a chance that bacteria from human and animal feces can contaminate the water, sickening you or your customers. Testing the well water for the presence of E. coli or total coliform bacteria is the best way to determine if your well is operating properly, or if it needs maintenance, shocking, or other servicing. 

Take a sample in late spring, so that you can fix any problems with the well if it is needed. 

How do you take a water sample, what do you test for, and who should you call? See the new videos below, that are also available in Spanish and Hmong. 

To find a MDH accredited lab near you,  visit the MDH searchable database site 

Video Links

How to Sample Well Water on Your Farm for Bacterial Contamination (English)

How to Sample Well Water on Your Farm for Bacterial Contamination (Hmong)

How to Sample Well Water on Your Farm for Bacterial Contamination (Spanish)

If you prefer to read instructions rather than watch a video, you can see a factsheet version of these videos here in this Google folder. 

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