Well Water Testing
In 1999-2000 contaminated private well water caused 26% of the drinking water outbreaks that made people sick. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rules only protect public drinking water systems, not privately owned wells. Most states have rules for private wells, but these rules may not completely protect your private well. In other words, as a private well owner, it is up to you to make sure your well water is safe to drink.
Why test for coliform and E. coli?
Coliform and E. coli bacteria are microbes found in the digestive systems of warm-blooded animals, in soil, on plants, and in surface water. These microbes typically do not make you sick; however, because microbes that do cause disease are hard to test for in the water, “total coliforms” and E. coli are tested for instead. If the total coliform count is high, or if E. coli is present in the water; it is a strong indicator of a recent sewage or animal waste contamination of your drinking water. It may contain many types of disease causing organisms.
Water sample test kits can be picked up at the Health Unit for residents who wish to have their private well water tested. An instruction sheet on how to collect a water sample is included in the kit. The water should be collected in the kit and returned to the Health Unit the same morning before 12:00 p.m. Samples can be dropped at the Marshfield office only on Monday through Friday. The State laboratory analyzes the sample and sends the results to well owner along with a bill for $10.00.
If you prefer to have a Health Unit inspector collect your water sample for you, you will be charged an additional $40.00 at the time of collection. Please call (417) 859-2532 to schedule an appointment.