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Well testing for Windham residents available at discount

WINDHAM — Town officials are teaming up with a local testing laboratory in their efforts to encourage more residents get their wells tested for common contaminants.

Starting Monday, July 21, local property owners can stop by the Community Development Office and purchase discounted water test kits.

Once samples are obtained, residents are being asked to return their kits to the town offices by Friday, July 15. The kits will then be sent to the Nelson Analytical Lab in Manchester for testing.

The laboratory, which also has a location in Maine, offers testing for contaminants frequently found in the New England region, including arsenic, radon and E. coli.
Laboratory officials noted that arsenic occurs naturally in New England where it was even mined commercially during the 1800s.

Much like radon, arsenic is colorless, odorless and tasteless when dissolved in water.
Other common contaminants, such as fluoride, are harmless and even beneficial in small doses, though higher concentrations can cause health problems like teeth staining and irregular bone deposits that can lead to arthritis.
Windham Community Development Director Laura Scott said the town decided to offer this testing in response to “the high number of residents not testing their water.”

“Most people in Windham rely on a private well for their drinking water,” Scott said this week. “But most residents in New Hampshire have never had their wells tested.”
She noted that residents might be more willing to have their wells tested now that the town is offering a more convenient option.

The water tests being sold at the town offices will be sold at a 20 percent discount, with town and lab officials transporting the samples to the laboratory.
Standard water test packages retail for $65 before the discount, while comprehensive tests can cost up to $125.

Scott said all participating residents would receive results via email within two to three business days.
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