While millions of households rely on private wells as a water source, well water is unregulated, leaving it up to the homeowner to monitor the quality. If you would like to know more about the water you use every day, here’s what you can expect from a well water quality test.

What is a Well Water Quality Test?

A well water quality test is used to check your water for any impurities or contamination. It provides a holistic picture into the content of everything from water bacteria and parasites to heavy metals and organic chemicals.

To perform a well water quality test, a certified AmeriSpec inspector will come to your home and collect a sterile sample from your water source. They will typically collect water at the well and from your tap for comparison. This helps to better determine where any potential contamination is coming from and ensure thorough coverage. 

Then, the samples of your water will be sent to a lab for detailed analysis. In many cases you can get your results within three to five days. After receiving the comprehensive report from the lab, your inspector will review it with you and help determine the best course of treatment for any issues identified. Often solutions can be as simple as a well water filtration system.

Why Should I Get a Well Water Quality Test?

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends those using well water have it tested annually. Because well water is not regulated, activity around your water source can change rapidly and have far-reaching impacts on the overall quality. Some of the most common sources of contamination in well water include:

  • Agricultural activity and the use of pesticides and fertilizers
  • Waste from animals and livestock
  • Mining and industrial activity
  • Household chemicals that have been improperly stored
  • Nearby septic tanks or leach fields
  • Natural occurrences such as floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes

If any of these are happening near your well, they can lead to both short-term and long-term health effects of varying severity. Runoff seeping in that’s contaminated with animal waste may contain bacteria like E. coli that causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The presence of chemicals or heavy metals such as lead and mercury can lead to more severe health issues including organ failure and cancer.

In addition to understanding health risks, many mortgage lenders will require a water quality test for properties utilizing well water. Luckily, the certified inspectors at AmeriSpec can help you take care of this step as part of the standard home inspection process.

Well Water vs. Public Utilities

Because public utilities are highly regulated and regularly tested, the need for independent quality testing isn’t as common. However, the system isn’t foolproof. You should always trust your instincts if you feel like something is off. Warning signs to look for include unusual colors, odors or tastes in the water, as well as staining on clothes, countertops or fixtures. Additionally, if your home was built prior to 1986, there is a higher likelihood that lead pipes were used to connect to the water main.

While water testing is more common with well water, the same quality tests can be performed on any water source. Due to their simplicity and relatively low cost, many appreciate the peace of mind regular water quality tests provide.

Find a Certified Well Water Inspector Near You

Whether well water quality testing is required as a condition to buy your dream home or you’d just like to know more about what you’re drinking, it’s easy to connect with a certified AmeriSpec inspector near you.

We have 150 locations across the country that can help with all of your specialty inspection needs. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and get the conversation started today.