Ginger Davis, Conservation Administrator
Groundwater—its depth from the surface, quality for use as drinking water, and chance of being polluted—varies from place to place. Much of Indiana groundwater is safe for human use. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) reports that 80% of wells tested in Indiana are clean, clear, and safe for consumption without treatment. However, groundwater contamination can and does happen, so well owners must be vigilant in protecting water supplies. Well owners should test their water regularly and maintain wells to safeguard their drinking water. Because we value our independence in Indiana, private wells are not regulated. This means it is your responsibility to ensure you have safe drinking water from your well.
Testing your well water is an important step to safeguard the water for our community and to provide yourself with security that you’re consuming safe drinking water. Well testing can be confusing because there are many options and owners do not always know what to test for. The main thing to consider is what may be influencing the groundwater in your area. Knowing what is going on the ground within a mile radius around your well will give you a good idea of what may influence your water. Well water is normally free and clear of contamination. However, when spills or heavy pumping of production wells occur in an area, it can change the quality of the water in your well. The best way to be sure your well water is clean is to test your water regularly and get to know your water. That way if you notice a change, you can take action and have something to compare it too. You should also share the information with your neighbors, as they may be drinking from the same water supply or very similar water.
On an annual, or yearly, basis every well owner should test for some basics like bacteria (total coliform, and E. coli), nitrates & nitrites, arsenic, pH, total dissolved solids, and anything that has come back high in any other full suite testing you have done previously. Sometimes testing more often is warranted in special situations like:
If you have never tested your water before, it is a good idea to get a full suite of parameters checked once every 5-10 years. This can include a lot of individual tests, but we have narrowed it down to some groups and your area will help to provide guidance to which tests are important within each group. The groups of test types include basic physical characterizations (pH, TDS, alkalinity, turbidity, and hardness), heavy metals, inorganics, volatile organic compounds, radiological, and pesticides.
Now you may be thinking, “Wow, I did not realize I needed to be a chemist to own a well?!?” and we can completely understand why you may have not tested before. It is a bit overwhelming. We suggest you talk with your doctor and other professionals in your area that may be able to provide some guidance.
With your help to monitor our groundwater we can ensure that the water in our community is safe for all users. It is important to seek help when you have potential contaminants so we can help notify others that may be impacted.
With COVID many of our laboratory options were closed and replacing these options has been a challenge. We are working to provide more options and re-launch our testing program. We are excited that some new options are available, and more packages will be rolling out soon. Our first option is now available.
New Annual Water Testing Package
We have developed an Annual Well Water Testing Package that includes many of the tests recommended by our health departments, IDEM and others focusing on providing information to well owners. The Annual Well Water Testing Package includes many of the previously available test from our Certified Laboratory partner the Indiana State Department of Health Laboratory but has neatly placed these into a package for ease in choosing tests.
The Annual Well Testing Package Cost $65 (including shipping).
It comes with the following testing resources:
Lab Certified Bacteria sample bottle (Cost $15 +$10 shipping, if purchased individually)
total coliform and Escherichia coli (E. coli)
-positive or negative results
Lab Certified Nitrate+Nitrite sample bottle (Cost $15 +$10 shipping, if purchased individually)
nitrate + nitrite as N
Lab Certified Simple Metal sample bottle (Cost $25 +$10 shipping, if purchased individually)
arsenic, lead, and copper
Along with the sample bottles you will receive some self-screening tools for:
We will provide sample bottles, testing strips, and a TDS meter (to borrow and bring back with the sample bottles) that are supplied to the tester along with instructions and a place to write your results. You would take the kit home, fill the bottles according to the instructions, use the strips and meter (writing down your results), and then bring back the bottles (to be analyzed at the lab), meter, and results. Once the laboratory analysis is complete (in 4-6 weeks), we will send you the result sheet from the lab, a one-page analysis of the results, and recommendations of next steps.
We are always available to provide water test analysis of any results and can provide you lists to private laboratories that are certified in the state, if you prefer your water tested elsewhere. Please visit our website hamiltonswcd.org/well-water-testing for more information or contact our office email@example.com or at 317-773-2181 for more details.
2/4/2021 02:35:00 pm
It was helpful when you explained that a full parameter test of our water should be done at least every 10 years. My brother and his wife are looking into having a well drilled to use as a water source for their cottage home. I'll share this info so they can stay safe by following recommended practices for water well testing in the future!
2/17/2021 11:46:28 am
I'm glad you mentioned that the pH content of the water should be tested yearly, and more often if any special situations occur. My husband and I purchased a cottage home with a well as a water source, and we're currently in the process of finding a contractor to repair the pump so we can start using it. Thanks for teaching me this info so I can develop a thorough plan for maintaining or new water well moving forward!
3/30/2021 02:29:44 pm
My parents moved to the mountains last year and want to have a water well installed in their yard. Thanks for explaining that they should test to make sure the water is safe and explaining the methods they can use. In order to ensure their water well system is properly tested, it would probably be best for them to hire a professional to have it checked as soon as it's completed and to ensure it's done correctly.
5/13/2021 02:31:14 pm
My aunt just bought a new home with a well attached, and she would really like to make sure that it is safe to use. She would really like to get some help from a professional to test the water in order to be safer. Thanks for explaining how she should test the water every 10-15 years to safeguard the water in the community.
5/28/2021 01:12:48 pm
I agree that testing well water is a great way to see if it safe for a community. People tend to forget that water wells can get dirty. I mean the water comes from the ground so it should be tested regularly in my opinion.
5/28/2021 03:09:32 pm
It really stood out to me when you explained that it is a good idea to test the water in a wall on a yearly basis. I am wanting to get a well drilled on my property soon. Testing the water in the well will help me keep my family from getting sick.
6/28/2021 12:50:40 am
I appreciated it when you shared that most water wells tested are clean, clear, and safe for consumption without treatment. Besides, it is important to have a pump that works well with the system. I would like to think if a homeowner needs to find a submersible pump for his water well, he should consider getting one from a reliable supplier.
7/27/2021 11:20:16 am
Thanks for the advice to get help with my well if I think it is contaminated. I don't have one yet but it is good to know what to do. So if I get one, I'll make a list of who I need to call for help.
9/9/2021 07:18:15 am
Testing your well water is an important step in protecting the water for our community and ensuring that you are consuming safe drinking water.
9/22/2021 11:53:12 pm
Thanks for pointing out that testing our well water is important to safeguard our family. This is really helpful because my husband and I are planning to have our own water supply for our garden. We are hoping to find experts in water well drilling installation on Monday who can install within three days.
10/7/2021 05:22:06 am
Thank you for the advice to seek assistance with my well if I suspect it is contaminated. I don't have one yet, but knowing what to do is useful. So, if I get one, I'll make a list of who I need to contact for assistance.
10/22/2021 02:38:31 am
Thanks for explaining that they should test to make sure the water is safe and explaining the methods they can use. In order to ensure their water well system is properly tested, it would probably be best for them to hire a professional to have it checked as soon as it's completed and to ensure it's done correctly.
11/11/2021 08:08:22 pm
I like how you mentioned that it is a good idea to get a full suite of parameters checked if you have never tested your water before. My cousin mentioned to me last night that he is planning to build a water well in case of water shortage in their home and asked me if I have any idea what is the best option for him. Thanks to this informative article and I'll be sure to tell him that it will be much better if he consults the trusted well drilling service in town as they can answer all his inquiries and will provide good-quality service.
Thanks for helping me understand that well water is usually clean from contaminants, but it is still best to regularly check the water you will use. I will keep that in mind now that I will hire a well drilling service that we can hire. It's to finally have another source of water to reduce the bills we have that have been increasing for months now.
12/8/2021 07:12:38 pm
It really helped me when you said that when heavy pumping of production wells or spills happens in your area it may change the quality of the water. My aunt told me that she is hoping to find a good inspection service as they have noticed that the water is not that clear and clean. Thanks for this informative article and I will take note of these tips for future purposes as well.
12/21/2021 07:47:04 am
I never knew that Testing your well water is an important step to safeguard the water for our community and to provide yourself with security that you’re consuming safe drinking water. Creating a deep well really sure is a hassle but still, I am planning to build one. Thank you for the information about the water well service.
1/7/2022 09:57:52 am
I never knew that groundwater—its depth from the surface, quality for use as drinking water, and the chance of being polluted—varies from place to place. I never thought that it would be like this, it is an intriguing article to read and I will also share this with my aunt. Thank you for the information about pet hospitals.
1/25/2022 06:17:03 am
that may be impacted. I consider this very important because my wife and I plan to put a well on our newly acquired farm. We will be looking for the best well drilling company to ensure we can get a clean water supply.
2/1/2022 09:24:42 pm
It's great that you elaborated on the importance of conducting an inspection to prevent bacteria and other problems. My cousin mentioned to me last night that he is planning to have a water well system maintenance to prevent problems and damages, and he asked me if I have any idea what is the best option to do. Thanks to this helpful article, I'll be sure to tell him that it will be much better if he consults the trusted well water systems maintenance service in town as they can answer all his inquiries and will provide good-quality service.
2/1/2022 09:30:06 pm
I didn't know that spills or heavy pumping of production wells can change the quality of the water in your well. This got me thinking that proper installation of a well water system is crucial to ensure that the water is safe to use. With that said, I think it's best to hire a reliable contractor who specializes in well water system installation.
5/20/2022 10:22:49 am
I want to get a water well drilled, and I want to make sure that I handle it properly. It makes sense that I would want to ensure that I get the water from it tested. That seems like a good way to ensure that the water is safe to drink.
7/13/2022 10:37:07 pm
Your drinking water must be tested at a licensed laboratory in order to determine its safety. Water that seems and tastes fine may not always be safe to drink since harmful bacteria, parasites, and viruses cannot be seen with the human eye. Surface and groundwater supplies may include these microorganisms, which, if untreated, may make people sick right away. Some chemical pollutants that can occasionally be discovered in water sources might result in long-term health issues that take years to manifest. Regular water testing can help discover contaminated water and confirm that the treatment system is effectively purifying the water.
7/18/2022 12:50:57 pm
I appreciate the comment you made about how testing your well water is an important step. MY wife and I recently purchased a rural home, and we are wanting to have a well installed so that we don't have to rely on the city water supply. It seems like we are going to have to find the best way to test the water that is in the well.
7/28/2022 10:57:35 pm
So informative things are provided here,I really happy to read this post,I was just imagine about it and you provided me the correct information I really bookmark it,for further reading,So thanks for sharing the information.
7/29/2022 02:15:57 pm
Thank you for sharing this information.
8/3/2022 01:07:04 am
Nice post, that was exactly i was looking for today. Informative
8/9/2022 01:00:02 pm
It's good to know why water wells should be tested at least once per year. My family moved into the countryside last week, and we're interested in installing a water well in our new property, so we'll be sure to follow your maintenance tips in the future. Thank you for explaining to us how water wells could contain harmful bacteria.
8/12/2022 11:51:38 pm
It really helped when you said that we need to have the water tested every year to check the bacteria, nitrates and nitrites, arsenic, pH, total dissolved solids, and more in the well. I will keep that in mind because I plan to have a water well drilling service before this year ends once I find contractors to hire. It's because it can help us reduce our expenses in the future if we have other sources starting this year, especially when the rates are constantly increasing.
11/25/2022 10:30:03 am
Very interesting post to read. Quality of drinking water is important and I think this post gives perfect insight on the topic.
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