SILVER CITY, N.M. (KRQE) – Have you been putting off getting a water well test due to the cost? Well, if you’re near Silver City, the farmers’ market has you covered.

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and Department of Health are conducting free domestic well water testings at the Silver City Farmers’ Market on March 25.

“Nothing provides peace of mind like knowing that the water you drink is safe,” said Ground Water Quality Bureau Chief Justin Ball. “This water fair provides residents in Silver City easy and affordable access to information about the quality of their private well water that they would otherwise need to pay for.”

Officials said they’ll be able to do around 100 free tests but will stop when supplies run out. In order to do the testing, a sample of the water needs to be brought to the market.

To prepare for the test, follow these directions:

  • Collect a sample –
    • Let the water run for 2-3 minutes
    • Fill a clean glass or plastic container with at least a quart or liter of well water
    • Collect water directly from the wellhead if you have any filtration systems
    • Fill the container close to the time of testing (This could be just before you leave for the market.)
  • Collect the data listed below –
    • Well depth
    • Depth to water
    • Well casing material
    • Well latitude, longitude
    • Distance of well to nearest septic tank or leach field system

Levels of pH, nitrates, and arsenic will be measured in the tests, and results will be mailed to households providing the samples.

If you can’t make it to the market, but want a friend or family member to take your sample, visit this link to see what information needs to be supplied.

Testing hours are from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 901 N Pope Street in Silver City, the location of the local farmers’ market.

This type of service isn’t brand new. In fact, NMED said they’ve tested over 80 private wells since July 1, 2022. More information about water fairs can be found on NMED’s website or by calling the department at 505-827‐2900.