Posted on by

How Often Do I Need to Test My Drinking Water?

Over 15 million Americans rely on private wells for their drinking water. The water well quality is not regulated the the Environmental Protection Agency, but it might be under state rules. Regardless, it is important to test your drinking water regularly.

Your private water well should be tested annually for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. Also test for any other contaminants that you suspect may be present. Your local health department may be a good source for finding out what contaminants may be common in your area’s groundwater.

More frequent testing should be considered if:

  • there is a change in the taste, odor, or appearance of the well water, or if a problem occurs such as a broken well cap, inundation by floodwaters, or a new contamination source
  • the well has a history of bacterial contamination
  • the septic system has recently malfunctioned
  • family members or house guests have recurrent incidents of gastrointestinal illness
  • an infant or elderly adult is living in the home
  • there are known problems with groundwater or drinking water in your area

Water tests should only be done by a state certified laboratory. Your local health department may provide free private well testing.

Test results should include the concentration of the substances you tested for and may also include whether the concentration exceeds a national primary or secondary drinking water standard. Click on the link to see the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations on the EPA’s website.

If a substance is found to exceed health standards, you will then need to decide on the best treatment. The treatment method will vary greatly depending on the type and concentration of the substance. Disinfectants, filters or other on-site treatment processes may be required. Worst case scenario is that you may have to identify a new water source and/or dig a new deeper well.

Not sure what type of treatment you need for your system? Call us today at RC Worst & Company to discuss the right system to meet your needs.