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Water Quality Testing

As a private homeowner, the EPA recommends you test your well water at least once per year for bacteria and nitrates/nitrites and every 3-5 years for chemical contaminants. Testing is also advised if you have had work done on your well or plumbing, if there has been area flooding or if you notice changes in the taste, cloudiness, odor or color of your water. Even though your water may taste, smell and look fine, many contaminants can only be detected by laboratory testing. If you have a private well, testing the quality of the water is very important for your family’s health and safety.


  • Total Coliform Bacteria - the presence of coliform indicates that the water may be contaminated with other disease causing bacteria, which can pose a health concern.
  • E. Coli - a subset of coliform bacteria that can cause disease in humans.
  • Nitrate/Nitrite - the presence above EPA standards may indicate wastewater has contaminated the water supply.
  • Lead - at any level can indicate corrosion of household plumbing or erosion of natural deposits. More than 0.015mg/L of lead in drinking water is considered unsafe for consumption.
  • Hardness - does not pose a health threat but may cause aesthetic problems (soap lather and scale forming in plumbing).
  • Iron - does not pose a health threat but levels >0.3 mg/L can cause a metallic taste in the water and rust-like brown stains in plumbing fixtures.
  • pH - the recommended pH of drinking water is between 6.5 and 8.5. Water with a low pH can cause deterioration of plumbing.
  • Total Dissolved Solids - in levels >500 mg/L may indicate the presence of other water quality problems.
  • Color - should appear colorless. A sudden change in color can be an indication of the presence of contaminants.
  • Odor - uncontaminated water does not have an odor. Odor often provides the first warning of possible contaminants.
  • Radon in water (additional testing costs associated)

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