Why test my well water? It is important to have your well tested on a regular basis. Your water can become contaminated in a number of ways and you should take these into account when determining which water tests you will have performed.
Bacteria can enter your well from surface water or through the ground, or due to plumbing problems.
Nitrate often originates from decomposing organic matter, fertilizers or septic systems.
Heavy metals can be leached out of plumbing or originate from certain waste disposal.
Pesticide contamination is often associated with its use near the well.
Arsenic is found naturally in groundwater, in some locations.
Other health concerns may be present in specific situations, i.e. the smell of gasoline or other chemicals.
pH and some smells may not be a health concern, but you may want to remedy them for your personal satisfaction.
What if I live in town? Cities and other municipalities that provide water to their residents release annual water quality reports that inform their citizens how clean their water is. To receive a copy of this report, contact your municipality. Even if your city is providing the cleanest water possible, that does not ensure that the water in your home is necessarily uncontaminated. If you have lead in your pipes or solder, you may want to have your water tested.
How do I have my water tested? You can pick up a water-testing bottle at the Washtenaw County Environmental Health Department, in the County Service Center at 705 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor. Phone: (734) 222-3800; or contact any licensed testing facility. Either of these will be able to furnish you with instructions on how to collect the test.
The Conservation District also holds screening events for testing drinking water wells for nitrate and nitrite. See the "Water Screening Event" page for more information.
Washtenaw County Conservation District Copyright 2016