Private well users should test their water once a year for coliform bacteria, and at least once every other year for nitrates, the state advises. Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment offers well water testing services for a nominal fee. The cost for the basic drinking water test for nitrates and coliform bacteria is $44. Tests are also available for hardness and other common minerals. Using the kit, residents can collect the sample themselves, following specific instructions. Drop-off times are 8-10 a.m. Tuesday mornings at the Headwaters Service Center in Forest Lake. With questions, or to request a testing kit, call the Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment at 651-430-6655. More information is also available online at www.co.washington.mn.us/water.