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Drinking Water Testing

Homeowner Well Water Testing

Our most common test packages are listed below

How frequently should I test?

Test water every year for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids and pH levels, especially if you have a new well, or have replaced or repaired pipes, pumps or the well casing.

Do you expect to have a new baby in the household?

Test for nitrate in the early months of a pregnancy, before bringing an infant home, and again during the first six months of the baby’s life. It is best to test for nitrate during the spring or summer following a rainy period.

Do you have taste, odor and staining issues?

Test for sulfate, chloride, iron, manganese, hardness and corrosion, and every three years. If you suspect other contaminants, test for these also.

Have you had a chemical or fuel spill or leak near your water supply?

Test your well for chemical contaminants, such as volatile organic compounds.  Local experts can tell you about possible impurities in your area.

Is someone in your household pregnant or nursing an infant?

Are there unexplained illnesses in your family?

Do you notice a change in water taste, odor, color or clarity? You may need to test more than once a year.

Collecting Samples

Use the containers provided and carefully follow the instructions given for collecting, preserving and handling water samples. Samples for coliform bacteria testing must be collected using sterile containers and under sterile conditions.  We can send a trained technician to collect the sample in your home if you are within 1 hour of our office.

Water Testing Packages

Basic Potability

The basic potability test is a good indicator set of tests for your well water. Often this test can be used to diagnose stains in your fixtures and odors in your water:

Chloride, Total Coliform Bacteria, Color, Hardness, Iron, Manganese, Nitrate, Nitrite, Odor, pH, Sodium, Sulfate, and Turbidity

Standard Potability

This test includes volatile organic chemicals like gasoline and dry cleaning fluid

Tests for 53 contaminants including bacteria, metals, inorganics, and volatile organic compounds.

 

  The table below is presented to help you identify common well water problems. For more information, visit www.epa.gov/safewater/faq/signs.html for EPA’s Signs of Common Water Quality Problems.

 

Visual Problems Cause
Scale or scum Calcium or Magnesium Salts
Turbid water Dirt, clay salts, silt or rust
Green stains on fixtures High acidity
Brown-red stains on fixtures, clothing Dissolved iron
Cloudy water that clears upon standing Poorly working pumps or problems with filters

 
Taste Problems Cause
Salty or brackish High sodium
Alkali or soapy taste Dissolved alkaline minerals
Metallic taste Acidity or high iron content
Chemical Chemicals or pesticides

 
Smell Problems Cause
Rotten egg odor Dissolved hydrogen sulfide gas or sulfur reducing bacteria
Detergent odor or foaming water Seepage from septic tanks
Gasoline or oil smell Leaking gasoline storage tanks
Methane gas or earthy / musty Decaying organic matter
Chlorine Excessive chlorination