Ensuring safe drinking water and well water for residents of Nebraska and surrounding states.

To support our neighbors recovering from the Midwest floods, Midwest Labs, Papio-Missouri River, NRD, Lower Platte South NRD, in cooperation with the Douglas County Health Department and Sarpy/Cass Health Department will offer a limited number of well water quality tests to private homeowners affected by flooding.

Steps to obtain a free well water sampling kit:

Pick up your well water quality sample bottle and instructions. When: Wednesday, March 27th from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the locations below:

  1. Sarpy/Cass Health Department, 701 Olson Drive, Suite 101, Papillion, NE
  2. Louisville Senior Center, 423 Elm Street, Louisville, NE
  3. Waterloo Fire Department, 405 7thStreet, Waterloo, NE

If a well owner is unable to pick up a sample bottle and instructions on these dates, additional sample bottles may be obtained at each County Health Department. P-MRNRD offices at Chalco Hills Recreation Area, or directly from Midwest Laboratories.

Please note: Midwest Laboratories will cover 50% of the laboratory testing costs, and the Midwest floods, Midwest Labs, Papio-Missouri River, NRD, Lower Platte South NRD will cover the remaining 50%. If a sampling kit is picked up through Midwest Labs – the cost of the test will be 50% off or $17.50.

Included in the kit:
  1. 1 – 250 mL plastic bottle + 1 – 125mL sterile plastic bottle
  2. Sample instructions
  3. Plastic bag to submit samples
Instructions for water sampling:
  1. Open the cold water faucet and allow the water to run for several minutes.
  2. Fill the enclosed bottles. If total coliform is to be checked, please use caution with the sterile plastic bottle. DO NOT rinse the jar and avoid touching any inner surface of the bottle or lid with your fingers. (the white powder is normal for the container.)
  3. Place the bottles in an upright position in the kit.
  4. Complete this submittal form with your reporting name, address, and sample identification. Please include the date and time of sampling also. Place form in a plastic bag and include with bottles.
  5. The sample MUST be returned to the laboratory for testing within 24 hours of the sample being taken.
What happens next?

The results of the water quality tests are delivered to each homeowner by Midwest Labs. Also, If the initial well water quality test confirms the presence of bacteria in the well, the homeowner should contact a licensed well technician or follow the procedures prescribed by the health departments to disinfect the well with a mixture of bleach and water. Apply the appropriate amount of bleach based on recommendations from the health department by the diameter and depth of the well.  Please contact the Douglas County Health Department at 402-444-7481 or the Sarpy/Cass Health Department at 402-339-4334 for additional instructions and information.

Once the well is disinfected, water should not be used for drinking or cooking until a second sample is tested to confirm that the disinfection was effective.  Homeowners should obtain a second sample 7 to 10 days after disinfection and deliver it to Midwest Labs. Only after test results confirm that there is no harmful bacteria or nitrates in the well – should the water be used for human consumption.

To learn more about the well water test, please call Midwest Labs at 402.334.7770.