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Testing the water: Celebrate National Groundwater Awareness Week

* Keep hazardous chemicals at least 150 feet away from wells and out of the potential path of runoff and floodwaters. Store them in their original containers if possible.

* Get your septic tank serviced if it hasn't been cleaned in the past five years.

* Get your drinking water tested. Residents not connected to municipal drinking water should have their water tested every year to avoid serious health risks associated with drinking contaminated water.

Lastly, you can attend Cornell Cooperative Extension's "Caring for Your Well and Septic System" workshop where you will have an opportunity to have your drinking water tested. The workshop will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday March 11 at the First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles. The workshop will help residents determine the quality of their drinking water supply and learn about how it can be protected.

The workshop will also cover proper well and septic system maintenance, the sources and health of effects of drinking contaminated water and alternative wastewater treatment systems. If interested, please register by calling 424-9485, ext. 0. More instructions for taking a water sample will be given when you call. Registered participants will be able to pick up sample bottles at the Skaneateles, Niles or Spafford town halls. Residents who do not wish to have their water tested can also attend the workshop, but are still asked to register.

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