Water testing recommendations depend on the type of system a household uses and the presence of specific water quality concerns if any.

Individual private wells are not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is up to the homeowner to ensure their household’s drinking water is safe to consume.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends checking your well every spring for mechanical issues and testing it at least once a year for certain water quality indicators, including total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. Once the results of your water test are known, you can decide whether further filtration is necessary and choose a filter that best fits the qualities of your water.

If you are concerned about other contaminants, you should test for those as well. Since ordering laboratory tests can be expensive, the best way to begin addressing concerns is to contact a local expert, such as the local health department, and learn more about local contaminants of concern.

If you have experienced any of the following, you should have your water tested:

  • If there are known groundwater issues in your area.
  • If you have experienced problems near your well, such as flooding, land disturbances, or waste disposal.
  • If you have replaced or repaired parts of your well.
  • If there is a noticeable change in your water quality, such as taste, color or odor.