Frequently Asked Questions

My water tastes funny, what should I do?
My drinking water is not clear, should I have it tested?
Where can I get a container for taking a sample?
Who can test my water?
How much will it cost?
What will the laboratory test for?
I don’t understand the laboratory report of the testing, what does it mean?
Can my well be condemned if my water test results indicate chemicals/bacteria?
What would alert me (signs or indicators) to the fact that something is wrong with my water?
How often should I have my water tested?

 

My water tastes funny, what should I do?
Contact your local public health department for water testing in your area.

My drinking water is not clear, should I have it tested?
Yes, this might be an indicator of surface water contamination of your well or the presence of certain minerals.

Where can I get a container for taking a sample?
Containers can be obtained by contacting your local public health department or a Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) laboratory.

Who can test my water?
Some local health departments will collect water samples or provide sample bottles to homeowners for collection and mailing to a laboratory.

How much will it cost?
$10.00 if you collect the sample yourself and use a DHSS laboratory. Many, but not all, local public health agencies will collect samples for no charge.

What will the laboratory test for?
Normally the tests are for the presence of coliform bacteria.

I don’t understand the laboratory report of the testing, what does it mean?
Contact your local health department if you need help interpreting your lab results.

Can my well be condemned if my water test results indicate chemicals/bacteria?
A private well used by the general public would not be condemned because of water test results. Advice could be obtained concerning the safety and possible treatment of the water from the local public health department.

What would alert me (signs or indicators) to the fact that something is wrong with my water?
Sometimes a change in taste or appearance, but usually there is no indication.

How often should I have my water tested?
Twice yearly is a good recommendation, or if you notice a change in the taste or appearance of your water.