Once you have a new well installed, it's important to test the water and then test the water again at least once each year. If you have a shallow well, you may need to test the water more frequently. Plus, there are special circumstances that call for an additional water test. Here are times to have your water well tested, what type of tests should be done, and how water well testing is completed.
When To Test Your Well Water
Your water should be tested each year when you have your annual well checkup. At this time, the well contractor inspects your well for signs of problems that may be affecting your water. If your well needs to be worked on, you may want to wait until the work is done since water quality should be tested after work is done on your well.
In addition, you may want to test your water if the cap on your well is broken and open to contaminants or if the land over the well was flooded. If your water smells odd, looks cloudy, or tastes different, have the water tested to figure out why.
Since contaminants can be hard on newborns, it's a good idea to get your water tested before you bring a baby home from the hospital. Also, if family members are sick with intestinal issues and you don't know the cause, it might be worth testing your water for contaminants.
What Tests Should Be Done
You may not want complete water well testing done each time. Some tests, like for lead and arsenic, may only need to be done once. Others, such as coliform bacteria, may need to be done with each test to check for contamination.
Work with your local health department and extension office to determine the water well testing you should have done and the frequency. Testing every two years for certain contaminants may be enough. The exact tests you need will depend on the environment around your well and whether you are close to industrial or farming sites.
How Water Well Testing Is Done
You can collect a water sample yourself and send it to a lab. If you do this, the lab sends collection containers to your home, and you have to be careful not to contaminate the inside of the container while you fill it with water. You should obtain your sample from the faucet that supplies your drinking water.
You can use a well water testing service instead. They come to your home, collect the sample, and send it off to the lab to be tested. This is the most convenient way to keep tabs on the quality of your water.
Frequent water testing is important for your family's health. Plus, the water reports you get back help you identify problems, and they can even let you know if a neighbor or business nearby is contaminating the groundwater on your land.