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Knowledge, awareness, and practices related to nitrate well water testing among private well owners in La Crosse County, Wisconsin

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Author(s)
O'Donnell, Meghan
Advisor(s)
Steinhoff, James; Duquette, R. Daniel; Gilmore, Gary
Degree
MPH, Community Health Education
Date
May 19, 2010
Subject(s)
Nitrates -- Environmental aspects; Groundwater -- Pollution; Wells -- Testing
Abstract
Nitrate, a naturally occurring ion in the environment is one of the most common causes of contaminated groundwater. The primary concern with ingestion of nitrate contaminated groundwater is a condition called infant methemoglobinemia and recent studies have found associations between exposure to nitrate contaminated groundwater, cancer, and reproductive and developmental outcomes. Because testing for nitrate is the responsibility of the private well owner, efforts to assess knowledge, awareness, and practices related to nitrate well water testing for the purposes of developing or improving educational efforts was investigated by use of a mailed survey among randomly selected private well owners in La Crosse County, Wisconsin. A total of 165 (out of 500) surveys were returned and analyzed. Awareness of nitrate well water testing (yes or no) and tested for nitrate (yes or no) was cross tabulated and found to be significant (Asymp. Sig. 2-sided 0.000, Pearson chi-square value 37.73). Among those that were aware of nitrate well water testing, 69% had tested their well water for nitrate and 31% had not tested their well water for nitrate suggesting the need for educational efforts, particularly for high risks groups. In addition, efforts aligned with encouraging regular testing practices should be a priority.
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http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1793/46654 
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