Well Water Testing


Benefits of Well Testing

If your drinking water comes from a private well, you are responsible for your water’s safety. If you have never had your water supply tested, it is always a good idea to educate yourself on what is present in your drinking water and also provide yourself with some baseline information in the event there are changes in the future that may impact the quality of your water supply.

Should you test your well water?

Your well has an increased likelihood of contamination if:

  • Your well is more than 20 years old
  • Your well was dug or driven rather than drilled
  • Your well is shallow
  • Your soil is sandy
  • A chemical spill is known to have happened nearby
  • Your well is near possible sources of contamination, such as:
    • Cropland
    • Feedlots
    • Landfills
    • Industrial sites, active or abandoned

Even if your well fits none of these categories, you cannot know the quality of your water without testing. Contaminants may have entered the ground without your knowledge or before you lived at the site.

Available tests and pricing

Test Cost
Nitrate/Inorganic Suite
Includes nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, chloride, sulfate, fluoride, soluble phosphorus, silica, and conductivity
Metals by ICP/MS
Includes antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, lead, selenium, aluminum, copper, iron, manganese, zinc, nickel, sodium, calcium, strontium, cobalt, magnesium, potassium, silica, and vanadium
Handling fee per order $5.00
Prices effective as of May 15, 2014; subject to change.

Options to request kits:

Order Online

Call: Nancy Miller,  419-448-2198 or 800-925-9250 Ext. 2198

E-mail: nmiller@heidelberg.edu

National Center for Water Quality Research, Heidelberg University
310 E. Market Street
Tiffin, Ohio 44883

Fax:  419-448-2345

Please note that all results are confidential, and will be reported only to the individual requesting the tests. You can expect to receive your results in the mail 2-4 weeks after your samples have been received at the NCWQR laboratory.

County Programs

Cooperative Private Well Testing Program

How does the program work?

The NCWQR works with local sponsoring organizations to provide well water testing services to participants in their county, area, or group. The sponsoring organization advertises the program in its area through newsletter or newspaper articles, or postcards to their members. The NCWQR provides the county office or organization with water testing kits to distribute over a one-two week period. The office serves as a collection site for the kits sold and handles the shipment of kits to the laboratory. The participant receives their confidential results in 2-4 weeks. The cooperating agency receives a summary shortly after. The summary may include anonymous analytical data, township summaries (if applicable), and a map of the nitrate or pesticide data, such as the one shown below. If a map is desired, the organization should provide a county road map with participants’ locations marked. This map needs to be submitted to the NCWQR with the kits at the close of the program.

How large is the program?

This program was started by the National Center for Water Quality Research in 1987 for the testing of private well water in Ohio. Since that time more than 25,000 wells have been tested from Ohio’s 88 counties. Currently, the program is offered nationwide and, to date, over 35,000 wells have been tested from 25 other states. If you would like to know whether chemical contaminants are in your well water, we can test your well water for inorganic compounds like nitrate and metals, as well as pesticides and other organic compounds like fuels and solvents.

What has the testing shown so far?

The results of the program indicate that the extent of nitrate and triazine pesticide contamination varies greatly from county to county. Many agricultural counties have very little contamination in private wells, while other counties have considerable contamination, and nitrates appear more commonly than pesticides. As of November 2010, over 56,350 wells had been tested. No trace of nitrate contamination was found in 66.4% of the wells, and roughly 1 well in 24 (4.2%) tested had nitrate concentrations that exceed the US EPA drinking water standard of 10 mg/L (ppm).  In contrast, of 22,111 wells tested for pesticides, only about one well in 300 (0.3%) had triazine pesticides in excess of the US EPA drinking water standard of 3.0 ug/L (ppb).

Sponsor a private well testing program in your community.

The Cooperative Private Well Testing Program gives your organization the opportunity to sponsor a well testing program in your community or among your members. This program is designed to support local groundwater education and private source water protection by combining locally sponsored private well testing programs with the development of detailed local data bases on rural drinking water quality. If you’d like more information, contact Nancy Miller, or to sign up, download and submit the registration form.

Call: Nancy Miller, 419-448-2198 or 800-925-9250 Ext. 2198

E-mail: nmiller@heidelberg.edu