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Water Bacteria Testing

What is Water Bacteria Testing?

Tests for water bacteria assess a home's water supply for contaminants and pollutants, such as chlorine, lead and coliform bacteria. Testing can also reveal an imbalance of the pH level and other factors to ensure that a home's water is drinkable and safe for everyday use.

Mortgage lenders often require water quality testing for properties with private wells and most will accept a home inspector as an independent tester. General results are usually available within 48 hours, although tests for certain minerals and other contaminants may require lab analysis and take longer.

Impurities are present in any water source and public and private water supplies may be affected by:

  • Elevated levels of nitrates, including fertilizers that leach into groundwater
  • Heavy metal contamination, including lead
  • Dangerous levels of bacteria
  • Mineral contaminants, such as iron and arsenic
  • Fluoride levels

Home inspectors can provide water bacteria testing services during standard home inspections with little additional time and without the need for heavy or complex equipment. Subsequent lab testing ensures comprehensive and accurate results.

Identifying the Problem

Odors, flavors, colors or stains on clothes or fixtures all can be warning signs of possible water issues. See the EPA website for a list of conditions that necessitate a water quality test.

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