<title> Water Testing</title>

Water Testing

EPA has no jurisdiction over privately owned wells, so each and every homeowner should have their well tested annually for problem indicators such as nitrates and coliform bacteria.  It’s your water and your responsibility to protect it.  Listed below are just some of our available services:

•  FHA Series — Total Coliform, E-coli, Nitrates, Nitrites, Lead

•  VA Series — Total Coliform, Nitrates, Nitrites, pH, Total Dissolved Solids, Hardness, Iron, Lead

•  Homeowners’ Package (VA Series 2) — Total Coliform, Nitrates, Nitrites, pH, Total Dissolved Solids, Hardness, Iron, Lead

•Customized packages and individual tests are also available


Listed below are some activities and indicators that may signal water quality issues according to the U.S. EPA:

Conditions or Nearby Activities:

Test for:

Recurring gastro-intestinal illness Coliform bacteria
Household plumbing contains lead pH, lead, copper
Radon in indoor air or region is radon rich Radon
Corrosion of pipes, plumbing Corrosion, pH, lead
Nearby areas of intensive agriculture Nitrate, pesticides, coliform bacteria
Coal or other mining operations nearby Metals, pH, corrosion
Gas drilling operations nearby Chloride, sodium, barium, strontium
Dump, junkyard, landfill, factory, gas station, or dry-cleaning operation nearby Volatile organic compounds, total dissolved solids, pH, sulfate, chloride, metals
Odor of gasoline or fuel oil, and near gas station or buried fuel tanks Volatile organic compounds
Objectionable taste or smell Hydrogen sulfide, corrosion, metals
Stained plumbing fixtures, laundry Iron, copper, manganese

While not necessarily health issues, these conditions may cause long-term damage to a home’s plumbing system

Salty taste and seawater, or a heavily salted roadway nearby Chloride, total dissolved solids, sodium
Scaly residues, soaps don’t lather Hardness
Rapid wear of water treatment equipment pH, corrosion
Water softener needed to treat hardness Manganese, iron
Water appears cloudy, frothy, or colored Color, detergents

 For more information on radon gas and well water radon testing please check out our radon page.

Interested in reading more about how to test and maintain a healthy water supply?  Check out these great resources:

Penn State University – Guide to Private Water Systems (.pdf)
U.S. EPA – Water on Tap:  What you need to know (.pdf)
U.S. EPA – Drinking Water from Household Wells (.pdf)


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