Well Water Testing Tips
assume that if their water looks, tastes, and smells okay that it's
safe to drink. Unfortunately, few contaminants can actually be detected
by our senses, so water testing may be needed. The four main
contaminant categories are as follows: Microbiological Contaminants
Most health departments require a total coliform test to determine if
bacteria is present in a well when it is first put into service or when
the property changes ownership. Two additional forms of potential
microbiological contamination include parasites and viruses, although
these are most frequently found in surface water supplies. Inorganic
Contaminants This category includes metals and minerals that can affect
either the safety or taste of well water. They can be naturally
occurring or may result from manmade contamination.
inorganics found in well water include:
- Nitrates/Nitrites (fertilizers, onsite septic systems)
- Arsenic (naturally
- Sodium (naturally occurring/some
treatment systems) Chemicals Chemicals can also leach into well water
supplies from the application of pesticides, runoff from agricultural
and industrial operations, or from gasoline storage tanks.
Organic Chemicals or VOCs (pesticides, etc.)
- MTBE (gasoline additive)
Radiological The fourth type of contaminant sometime found in private
wells would be radiological in nature, such as:
- Radon (gas; also can be found in indoor air)
- Radium 226/228 (from decaying uranium
If any contaminants are detected at levels that exceed EPA or state guidelines for public drinking water supplies, consider installing a home water treatment system or using certified bottled water for drinking.
789 N. Dixboro Road
P.O. Box 130140
Ann Arbor, MI 48113-0140
your water tested to determine if any contaminants are present in your
drinking water supply.
Drinking Water Fact Kit Water Testing Tips