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A Short Guide On Testing Your Well Water For Contaminants

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You are personally responsible for making sure the water you use is safe when you rely on a well on your property. There are a number of contaminants that can enter the well through groundwater and runoff from rain and snow. You should have your water checked periodically by a reputable water testing service to see if your well water is safe to drink and use in your home. Here is a quick guide on how to test your well water.

When to Test

As a general rule of thumb, your well should be tested at least once a year. The best time to test is after the melting snow and spring rains have subsided in late spring.

However, incidents can happen that will call for you to monitor your well more closely during the year. For example, if you are also using a septic system to dispose of human and household wastes and you start to have problems with your leach field or your septic tank overflowing, you'll want to have your water tested more often to make sure it hasn't gotten contaminated with sewage. You should contact your septic system service company or a water testing company to help you determine how many times to test and when you should expect that the chance of contamination has passed.

You should also immediately test your well water if you notice any changes in the color, taste, or odor of the water – it's obvious that something has gotten into the water and you need to find out as quickly as possible to determine why the water has changed to avoid illness or injury.

Who Should Test Water

There are home testing products you can purchase to test your water, but if you want it professionally tested, you need to send your water samples to a licensed company or agency to perform the tests (sometimes, your local state or local health department can perform the tests for you, or they can provide a list of licensed water testing companies that you can use).

How to Collect Samples

You should contact your local health department or licensed water testing company to obtain sterilized well water testing bottles. You can fill the sample bottle from a faucet in your home – make sure you remove any screens or filters in the faucet so you don't accidentally contaminate the sample. Let the water run for several minutes before filling up the sample bottle. Carefully put the cap on the bottle and send the sample to the testing company or agency as soon as possible.

For more information, contact Valley Pump Inc. or a similar company.