When should my well water be tested?

MassDEP recommends that before purchase, prospective home buyers test the water in a home with a private well. Once you've purchased the home, the interval between water quality tests can generally be in terms of years if the well is properly constructed and located in a safe area. However, the following conditions would prompt more frequent testing:

  • Heavily developed areas with land uses that handle hazardous chemicals.
  • Recent well construction activities or repairs. MassDEP recommends taking a bacterial test after any well repair or pump or plumbing modification, but only after disinfection and substantial flushing of the water system.
  • Contaminant concentrations above state or federal standards found in earlier testing.
  • Noticeable variations in quality, such as a water quality change after a heavy rain, extended drought, or an unexplained change in a previously trouble-free well (i.e. funny taste, cloudy appearance, etc.)

When taking any sample, MassDEP recommends that it be taken after a heavy rainstorm. These events tend to highlight conditions of improper well construction or poor soil filtration. Call All Cape Well Drilling for well water testing or well inspection at 508-246-6646.

DIY Water Testing - the Right Way

When taking a water sample from your home, be sure to eliminate any possibility of contamination, so as to receive most accurate results. A water sample from the kitchen sink, for example, could contain bacteria from last night's dishes, your hands, or even your pet. 

  1. Wash and rinse your hands before collecting the water sample.
    (It's ok to leave them wet, in case your towel has bacteria!)
  2. Turn on the cold water, and let it run for about 30 seconds before testing.
  3. Hold the sample container close to the water stream.
  4. With your other hand, remove the seal and open the cap carefully, so as not to touch any surfaces. Do not out the cap down. Touch only the top part of the cap which does not come in contact with the water.
  5. Fill the container so that it overflows, while holding the cap nearby. Do not put the cap down.
  6. Quickly put the cap back on the container, and tighten.
  7. Now you have the best possible water sample for testing in about 20 seconds!



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