How Frequently Should Homeowners Test Their Well Water & What Do You Test For?

It’s the responsibility of well owners to frequently monitor their water supply for quality and potential contamination. However, this task can be difficult for busy homeowners to complete on a regular basis. Luckily, Greco & Haines offers a variety of well services, including comprehensive water quality testing. Whether you’re concerned about a potential source of contamination, have noticed changes in your drinking water, or are simply overdue for an assessment, we can help.

Regular testing of your well helps to ensure that you’re drinking and using safe, clean water. Additionally, water testing allows you to detect the causes of undesirable issues such as bathtub rings or stains.

Water testing can also reveal long-term trends in your property’s supply. “Even if you currently have a safe, pure water supply, regular testing can be valuable because it establishes a record of water quality,” notes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “This record is helpful in solving any future problems and in obtaining compensation if someone damages your water supply.”

What to Test Well Water For

Different tests and analyses can parse out various characteristics of your well water supply. For example, a standard evaluation of pH can show whether you have excessively acidic or basic water. These abnormalities could potentially damage your plumbing over time and even encourage heavy metals to build up in your water supply. Mineral content also determines the relative hardness or softness of your water, which can affect the functionality of your system. Water quality tests may also assess levels of heavy metals, nitrates and nitrites, and industrially sourced chemicals, commonly known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Luckily, our filtration and softener systems can help remedy many of these issues.

Other tests may look at microbial content – particularly the levels of total coliform bacteria and fecal coliform bacteria. Coliform bacteria are widespread germs found everywhere from the bowels of animals (including humans) to soil and surface water. High levels of total or fecal coliforms may mean more dangerous bacteria, parasites, or viruses are also present. In the case of fecal coliforms, it could mean that there is a potentially hazardous contamination issue going on.

Knowing what to test for can be challenging, but local and state health departments can offer guidance based on your location. For example, your geological setting may put you at risk of radon water contamination. This odorless, colorless, and flavorless radioactive gas is a prominent issue in many areas of Connecticut. You may also be situated near agricultural or industrial operations that heighten the chance of chemical contamination.

How Often Should You Have Your Well Tested?

At a minimum, you should have your well water tested for basic indicators of quality once a year. These include pH, hardness, coliform bacteria, nitrates, nitrites, sulfates, iron, and chloride. Testing is also necessary after replacing or upgrading any part of your well system or water pipes.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health recommends testing for lead, VOCs, radon, arsenic, and uranium at least once every five years. Fluoride testing is also strongly encouraged for households with children under 12 years old.

Many other circumstances call for more frequent water testing. For example, you should increase the frequency of your examinations if someone in your household is currently pregnant. The EPA suggests testing for nitrates during the early stages of pregnancy, ahead of bringing a newborn home, and sometime during the first six months afterward. Ideally, this analysis should be conducted in the spring or summer, following a bout of rainy weather.

If someone in your home is suffering from unexplained recurring illnesses, you may also want to consider additional water testing. The same goes for family members who have existing gastrointestinal problems or other health issues – your water supply might just be the culprit.

As mentioned above, you may want to test your water on a more regular basis if your well is located near major agricultural or industrial operations. In these areas, chemicals and other pollution may enter the groundwater. This also applies to areas that have recently experienced flooding, and certainly any toxic leaks or spills.

Lastly, you should test your water if you notice changes to its clarity, odor, and flavor, or if you find stains on your fixtures or clothing. Essentially, any deviation from your water supply’s norm warrants careful and prompt attention.

How Much Does It Cost to Have Your Well Water Tested?

The cost of water testing varies depending on the kinds of tests performed, your well system, and other factors. Here at Greco & Haines, we provide free evaluations of basic mineral content. We also offer a series of specialized analyses for a wide variety of other elements and contaminants, including chemicals, microbes, radon, and more. The costs of these tests differ based on the specific situation. If you’d like to know more about the price of water testing, we’d be happy to provide you with a quote.

Certified Well Water Testing in CT

In need of a reliable well water company in CT? Look no further than Greco & Haines. For the past 56 years, we’ve been proudly helping Connecticut residents with all of their well water issues.

Greco & Haines offers service 365 days a year – with no extra charge for weekends and holidays! For more information about our well water testing services in CT, contact us today via our online contact form or by phone at 203-735-9308, 203-777-2256, or toll free at 1-800-922-2958 (from any CT area code).