How can I test my well water at home?

Often county health departments will help you test for bacteria or nitrates. If not, you can have your water tested by a state certified laboratory. You can find one in your area by calling the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 or visiting
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How do I know if my well water is safe?

The only way to tell if your drinking water is safe is by having it tested at a certified laboratory. Harmful bacteria, parasites, and viruses are invisible to the naked eye, so water which looks and tastes good may not necessarily be safe to drink.
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How can I test my water at home without a kit?

Fill the bottle one-third full, add a few drops of pure liquid soap and shake vigorously for a few seconds. If there is a distinct lack of fluffy bubbles and the water appears cloudy and/or milky, your water is hard.
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What water tests should be done on a well?

At a minimum, check your well every spring to make sure there are no mechanical problems; test it once each year for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. If you suspect other contaminants, you should test for those as well.
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How can you test heavy metals in water at home?

Open the heavy metal water test kit packaging and remove one test strip, re-seal the packaging straight away. Dip the test strip into your water sample or place under a running tap for a few seconds. Shake away any excess water and place test strip onto a flat surface for 60 seconds.
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How to Test Your Well Water

What kind of bacteria can be found in well water?

Fecal coliform bacteria are a sub-group of total coliform bacteria. They appear in great quantities in the intestines and feces of people and animals. The presence of these bacteria indicates that your well water is contaminated with feces or sewage, and it has the potential to cause disease.
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How do I know if water is contaminated?

Top 8 Signs That You're Drinking Contaminated Water
  1. Cloudy. Don't drink your water if it appears cloudy. ...
  2. Sediment. ...
  3. Brown or Orange Hue. ...
  4. Oily Film atop Standing Water. ...
  5. Chlorine Scent. ...
  6. Sulfur Scent. ...
  7. Metallic Taste. ...
  8. Rusted Silverware.
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How can you tell if you have hard water?

Signs of hard water include:
  1. Feeling a film on your hands after washing them. This is caused by the soap reacting with calcium to form soap scum. ...
  2. Spots. These can appear on glasses and silverware coming out of the dishwasher. ...
  3. Mineral stains. ...
  4. Less water pressure in your home.
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Are home water testing kits accurate?

Do they provide accurate results? The simple answer is yes, they do. Tests done with home water test kits might not be performed in a lab by a chemist but they are still reliable. The kit will notify you whether or not the water is contaminated.
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What is a natural way to clean well water?

You can boil the well water for 5 minutes. With this, all the bacteria inside it will be eliminated. However, boiling will not be able to remove the solids and other materials inside the well water. The use of chlorine drops or iodine tablets can effectively kill the bacteria in the well water.
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How do I know if I need a new well?

Major Signs You May Be in Need of Well Repair
  1. You May Need a Well Repair if You Have No Water. ...
  2. There's a Loss in Water Pressure. ...
  3. You Hear Loud Noises. ...
  4. There Is Air “Spitting” From Your Faucet. ...
  5. Your Well Water Is Dirty or Smells Bad. ...
  6. The Pump Continues to Run.
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How often should I treat my well water?

Homeowners with private wells should have their well water tested every 3 to 5 years for some contaminants, including bacteria. If these tests turn up positive for bacteria, chlorinating the well may be a way to resolve the problem.
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Can you drink untreated well water?

The answer is most likely yes, but testing and treatment are crucial. As long as you closely monitor the condition of your water supply and take appropriate measures to ensure its quality, well water can be safe to drink.
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Can well water make you sick?

Health Risks

Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, nausea, headaches, fever, fatigue, and even death sometimes. Infants, children, elderly people, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get sick or die from disease-causing microorganisms in drinking water.
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How long does it take to get sick from drinking contaminated water?

Symptoms of gastrointestinal illness from contaminated water can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting. Those symptoms can take 24 to 48 hours to develop, says Forni, so you might not get sick for a day or two after drinking bad water.
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Do Plants help clean water?

But did you know that plants also play a part in cleaning our water? As with air, plants that live on and in the water absorb carbon dioxide and expel oxygen. In aquatic environments, this is helpful to fish and improves water quality. Plants in aquatic systems also absorb nutrients, bacteria, metals, and chemicals.
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How can I make sure my water is clean?

Make Your Water Safe by:
  1. Boiling. If water is cloudy, allow to settle, then skim the clean water above the sediment. ...
  2. Disinfect by using: Unscented household chlorine bleach or iodine (useful against most, but not all, harmful viruses or bacteria. ...
  3. Filtering.
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How do you test for arsenic in water at home?

To test for arsenic: an arsenic test kit usually costs less than $30. The laboratory will mail a test kit and directions to your home. Collect your water sample from the tap that you drink from the most often: for most households that is the kitchen sink.
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Can you get parasites from well water?

Giardia parasites are found in lakes, ponds, rivers and streams worldwide, as well as in public water supplies, wells, cisterns, swimming pools, water parks and spas. Ground and surface water can become infected with giardia from agricultural runoff, wastewater discharge or animal feces.
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Will shocking a well get rid of coliform?

When done properly, shock chlorination will kill all the bacteria existing in a well. A recent Penn State study of wells contaminated by coliform bacteria found that shock chlorination and installation of a sanitary well cap successfully removed the bacteria for one year in 15 percent of the wells.
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