Why Test My Well Water?

Eight glasses of water a day! That’s the recommendation of health professionals, but exactly what kind of water are you and your loved ones drinking? How often do you think about the quality of your water? If you're  like most, probably very seldom. Quality drinking water from a well maintained source is essential for good health. Having healthy water is not as hard as you think.

It all starts with a simple water analysis that can renew your confidence and keep you feeling good about your contribution to your family’s health, safety and the overall maintenance of your home. Regular testing of your water will alert you to any quality changes. It provides you with the information you need to ensure the ongoing safety and comfort of your family.

Municipal water systems test their water regularly to ensure that it is safe, but there are no regulations that govern water quality in private wells. You, as a private well owner, are responsible for making sure that your water is safe by testing it regularly. It is one of the simplest things you can do to take care of the health and well being of yourself and those you love!

While most wells provide a clean, safe supply of water, there is always a chance that you could have contaminants polluting your system. Your water may be crystal clear and still contain pathogens -  microbes, fungi and/or bacteria -  that can be harmful to your health.

Some contaminants do not cause a health issue, but make the water aesthetically displeasing and/or impair the operation of modern appliances.   It is important to note that contaminated water does not necessarily taste, smell or look different from safe drinking water. Further more water that has an unpleasant odor or taste is not necessarily unhealthy.  Only proper analysis can provide certainty in this matter.

Surface water and groundwater change constantly and this can cause multiple affects on your water supply. A well that tests fine one month may test differently six months later. Even if you find that your water is safe, testing on a regular basis is a good way to establish a water quality record and maintaining your well.  Most experts, including the EPA, recommend annual testing of your private well water.

By properly maintaining your well, you will significantly decrease the risk of having problems with your water. If after testing you find that there are issues that need to be corrected, you can use this data to make an informed decision about any remedial action needed.  These may include disinfecting the well, adding or modifying a water filtration/purification system or inspecting the well to find the cause of contamination.

In Summary
Private, individual wells are the responsibility of the homeowner. Have your water tested periodically. The EPA recommends that water be tested every year for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. If you suspect other contaminants, test for those. Always use a state certified laboratory that conducts drinking water tests.
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ETR Laboratories
(800) 344-9977
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Valid only for new InterNACHI home inspector clients. Contact ETR Laboratories.