Tips For Testing Your Well Water For Contamination

If you're a fairly new homeowner or just bought your first property with a well, one of the things you'll need to become familiar with is the testing methods to ensure that your water is clean. Bacteria and chemicals of all kinds can seep into well water from things like sewage disposal, de-icing and broad-spectrum pesticides. Here's a look at what you need to know about water testing to identify potential contaminants in your home's well water.

Collecting a Proper Sample

In order to get accurate test results from your water sample, it needs to be collected properly. After all, any contamination could negatively affect the results. Start by getting your testing supplies directly from a laboratory so that you can ensure that the equipment is sterile and contains a preservative to ensure testing accuracy.

Turn your tap water on and let the water flow for several minutes to flush things out before you collect your sample. Then, slow the water flow to fill the container without any splashing. When you handle the specimen container, make sure you don't touch the inside edges or rim with your hands. If possible, wear gloves to ensure that you don't contaminate anything while you're collecting the sample. Run the water directly into the container, then refrigerate it until you're ready to transport it to the laboratory.

Understanding The Test Results

Your water should test free of any bacteria or other contaminants. If your testing does show the presence of any bacteria, such as coliform, you'll want to have the tests repeated once to confirm. Once you've confirmed the results, it's time to treat the well and clean the water.

Treatments like chlorination or chemical purification are the most effective methods for getting rid of bacteria in your well water. Work with a water testing and purification company to do the treatment, because it may need to be repeated over a couple of weeks. Once the water is clean, repeat the testing a couple of times each year to make sure that there's no recurrence.

The more attentive you are to the condition of your home's well water, the safer you and your family will be from any potential health hazards. Now that you understand how to test your water and what to do with the results, you'll be in a better position to monitor your well for safety. Reach out to your local water testing service for more help. For more tips, check out sites like