06-13-2019 Free drinking well water screening for private wells; Southwest Michigan water quality su

Free drinking well water screening for private wells

The Berrien Conservation District and the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) will sponsor a free drinking water well screening on Wednesday, June 26 and Thursday, June 27 from 8 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Take water samples to the Berrien Conservation District Office at 3334 Edgewood Road in Berrien Springs. Samples from drinking water wells will be screened for nitrate and nitrite. The screening is open to everyone who uses a personal well for drinking water. Forms should be filled out in advance and are available at the Conservation District office or online at www.berriencd.org or residents can fill out a form when they arrive. This service is for private drinking water wells only. Public water supplies are tested regularly. Please do not bring samples from public water supplies or non-drinking water sources. Only drinking water well samples will be tested. A special bottle is not required; any small clean jar will work—one ounce of water is enough. Please follow the directions below to sample a well. Collect samples just before taking them to be sampled. Samples must be less than 48 hours old for a valid nitrate result. Fill out the water Sample Information Sheet. (These will also be available when you take your sample in.) Pick a tap that supplies water that has not run through any treatment devices (water softener, carbon filter, etc.). An outdoor faucet often works well. Run the water for 20-30 minutes before collecting the sample. Do not sample through a hose. Rinse the sample bottle and lid thoroughly in the water to be sampled. Label the bottle with name, date, and the well name (cottage well, Mom’s well, etc.) using a waterproof pen. Keep the sample dark and cold (on ice or refrigerated) until it is dropped off. All results are confidential. You will get your results as well as information on what to do should nitrite or nitrates show up in your drinking water. If you do not wish to wait a few minutes for your results you may just drop off the sample along with your completed form. More information is available from the Berrien Conservation District office at 269-471-9111 ext 3, at www.berriencd.org, or email suzanne.forraht@mi.nacdnet.net.

Southwest Michigan water quality survey

Throughout the late spring and early summer, the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission will be conducting a survey of residents in Berrien and Cass counties to assess the community’s knowledge and level of concern with local water quality issues. The survey only takes 5-7 minutes to complete. Visit www.letskeepitblue.org to take the survey. The survey is part of the Storm Water Public Education Plan (PEP) for southwest Michigan. The goal of the PEP is to educate the public about water quality issues and the measures that can be taken to reduce pollution. The land in Berrien and Cass counties is either within the lower St. Joseph watershed, Galien watershed or has drainage flowing directly into Lake Michigan. Much of the polluted runoff, which flows into local streams, rivers, and lakes, begins at home due to everyday activities associated with lawn and pet care, septic systems, infrastructure development, and other general auto and home maintenance actions. The proper disposal of trash, auto oil and fluids, lawn byproduct such as pesticides/herbicides and fertilizer as well as grass clippings, animal wastes, and home cleaning products can assist in reducing pollution. Properly maintaining septic systems and employing green infrastructure techniques such as rain gardens and rain barrels can also help reduce polluted runoff into local streams, rivers and lakes. The goal of the survey is to asses change in community behavior and awareness concerning local water quality issues. This information will then be available to use in adjusting the goals and practices of PEP to more effectively reach and educate residents of southwest Michigan about water resources and their protection.

PARCOURSE crowdfunding campaign past midpoint – online goal June 30 for matching grant

The PARCOURSE is free to use and open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week. Residents, sports teams, patients undergoing rehabilitation at Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet, and even the physical education classes at the middle and high schools utilize the PARCOURSE.

The first PARCOURSE loop is almost completed and construction is starting on the second loop—the goal is to be completed by August 1, 2019. The campaign was recently approved by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to receive a matching grant under Public Spaces, Community Places program. If the campaign reaches its online fundraising goal of $35,000 through the crowdfunding site by June 30, the MEDC will match that amount.

Donate now and your contribution may be doubled!! Visit www.patonicity.com/parcourse now and donate.

12 Corners Church Strawberry Festival June 15

On Saturday, June 15 Twelve Corners Community Church is holding a Strawberry Festival beginning at 5 p.m. The church is located at the corner of Hicks Avenue and Benton Center Road in Benton Harbor.

A program will feature Allen Jackson.