University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System: Water Quality and the Home Landscape


Well Water

What to Test For

 

Karen Filchak

karen.filchak@uconn.edu

It is the homeowner’s responsibility to test their well water.  The US EPA has the responsibility to establish limits on concentrations of contaminants allowed in public drinking water supplies.  These standards, called Primary Standards address microbial contaminants, radioactive elements, and toxic chemicals and are enforceable for public water supplies. 

The private well is required to meet standards following installation and, in Connecticut, upon sale of property.  This means that it is the responsibility of the homeowner to determine when to test their drinking water well and what to test for.  Typically, the standards used for public water suppliers are applied to private well water when private well water is tested

The Connecticut Department of Public Health recommends that the certain tests be conducted annually to be certain of the general quality of your well water.  They include:

  • Total coliform bacteria
  • Nitrite/Nitrate
  • pH, color and turbidity. 

Other tests may be recommended based on land uses, activities and known natural contaminants of concern in the state. It is recommended that a certified water testing laboratory be used for well water tests.These labs have been certified by the EPA which means that they have the proper equipment ot test for the parameters stated.