Symptoms With Water Testing

Frequently Asked Questions

Is well water safe to drink?

Yes. Water from a private well can be just as safe, if not safer, than municipal water. However, regular testing is needed to ensure a continued supply of clean, safe water.

How can I tell if my well water is safe?

While some contaminants will change the appearance or taste of the water, others cannot be seen, smelled, or even tasted. The only sure way to know is to have your water tested.

Can I test my water at home?

While do-it-yourself test kits are available on the market, these tests are never as accurate as those performed by a state-certified lab. Safe water shouldn’t be a guessing game. To know what’s in your water for sure, utilize the services of a certified lab.

How often should I have my well tested?

Many state and federal authorities recommend having your water tested annually for coliform bacteria and nitrates. Other contaminants should be tested for at least once every five to ten years.

How long will it take to get the results?

Some laboratories may take as long as two weeks to return your results. For typical results, Clean Water Testing will usually return your results within three to five business days.

How much will a water test cost me?

Costs can vary depending on the number and type of tests you request. Typical tests range from $25-$400.

What is causing my water sample to come back as ‘unsafe’?

There is a wide variety of reasons that could cause water contamination. Please look through our list of possible sources


Water Tests

Well Water Testing Services

Private well water users should test their water regularly to ensure clean water. recommends well users test their water for coliform bacteria, nitrate, arsenic, lead, and manganese. The Department of Public Health and Environment provides well water testing services to county residents for a modest fee.

Get a Test Kit

he following fees must be paid when you submit your sample to the department. All test fees are subject to change.

Understand Your Results

Results from the department’s testing services are mailed within 7-10 days information about contaminant levels that can be harmful in drinking water and what you can do to protect your household’s health.

VOCs: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) (including trichloroethylene or TCE) is still currently available.  VOC sample is $170. After you request the test, county staff will come out to your property to take the sample and send it to the Public Health Laboratory for analysis. Results and a description of what they mean will be mailed to you from approximately six to eight weeks from the date of sampling.


Water Testing

Offers EPA certified water testing services for Total Coliforms and E. coli. This service has been available to federal, state, and local agenices for many years. In 2010, we moved into a new facility and are now able to increase the number of samples tested in this laboratory section

accepting samples from both private individuals and private businesses. We can service the water testing and reporting needs of the rural homeowners that would like to test their domestic wells at the end of the irrigation season, as well as private businesses that have EPA water testing requirements.


Water Well Testing

The Water Well Protection Program is responsible for addressing questions and public concerns regarding water quality and quantity issues associated with the estimated 100,000 private water wells in the Province. Program staff are also responsible for licencing well drillers and insuring both drillers and homeowners respect Provincial regulations when it comes to well location, tagging and reporting, well construction and well water testing etc.

The purpose of the Water Well Protection program is to protect private water wells. Both the Water Well Regulation and Potable Water Regulation – Clean Water Act provide regulatory support for the program.

Water well contractors and well drillers are responsible for renewing their permits each year and for constructing water wells according to regulatory requirements in terms of the materials used, construction methods and location of the well on a given property and in relation to potential sources of contamination. The well contractor is also responsible for attaching an identifying tag to the well casing and the well owner is provided with a voucher to have a water quality analysis done at the department’s laboratory. The well owner and the Department are provided with a copy of the well log. It is important for a well owner to redeem their voucher in order to be aware of the quality and potability of their drinking water.


Residential Water Testing

NOTICE of price change – as of 01 July 2020 the Routine Well Analysis will increase from $45 to $55, and the Real Estate Package will increase from $130 to $140. The prices on the paperwork inside the kits will no longer be valid. In addition, from that time forward both the Routine Well Analysis and the Real Estate Package will include analysis for Manganese at no extra charge.

If your drinking water comes from a private well on Cape Cod, you might consider getting it tested regularly.  The sandy soils and contiguous aquifer make drinking water wells particularly vulnerable to contamination from activity on the land surface (such as chemical spills and pesticide application) and subsurface (such as onsite septic systems and underground fuel storage tanks).  The only way to know if your water is safe to drink is to have it tested regularly by a certified laboratory.

How often should I get my well water tested?

The Groundwater Foundation and the Center for Disease Control recommend testing a drinking water well annually for selected parameters.  The County Department of Health and Environment recommends annual testing for (at minimum) coliform bacteria, pH, specific conductance, sodium and nitrates.  More comprehensive testing for copper, iron, manganese, total dissolved solids, lead and a suite of volatile organic compounds should be done every three years.  Depending on potential sources of contamination in your area, we might recommend testing for other parameters

How will I know if there is a problem in my well?

Unfortunately, many contaminants are odorless and tasteless, but some obvious indicators of a problem are provided.

How can I interpret the results of my well water test?

Generally every laboratory report will indicate the result along with the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL).  This is the maximum concentration of the contaminant that is considered safe to drink