Municipal water supplies are tested at the treatment facility to maintain the mandated water quality standards set by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, if you own or manage a private well, you should already know that there is no federal or state oversight of your water supply. If you buy or sell the property there may be a requirement to have the well tested. You are responsible for the quality of your well water. All testing, conditioning and filtration is your responsibility.

How frequently should I test?

EPA recommends you test your well water supply 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.

EPA | When to Test Water


How do I collect a water sample?

Testing laboratories supply their own sample containers and will ship you their sample collection kit once you purchase their service. 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. Some procedures require that water runs from an outside tap for several minutes before filling the sample containers. Laboratories may sometimes send a trained technician to collect the sample or to analyze the sample directly in your home. Ask if this service is available, since you may obtain better samples and more reliable test results.

Sample Kits from National Testing Laboratories, Ltd.

National Testing Lab Water Sample Kit


Water Analysis Results

Analysis from the lab will compare tested contaminant levels present in water against EPA Primary and Secondary Drinking Water Standards. Check if total concentrations of cations and anions balance. If they do not balance, there are substances dissolved in water that havent been analysed.

If total dissolved solids (TDS) concentration is higher than anion or cation concentration, water sample contains dissolved substances not included in the report.

Sample Water Analysis


References

  1. Epa.gov. (2005). Home Water Testing. [online] Available at: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-11/documents/2005_09_14_faq_fs_homewatertesting.pdf [Accessed 30 Apr. 2018].
  2. "WaterCheck™ Lite." Watercheck. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2018.
  3. Water Quality Association ANAN Kowledgebase Administration. Web. 15 Apr. 2018.