Is Your Well Water Safe?

By Robert Robillard on Home And Personal Safety


Safe Drinking Water

When was the last time you tested your well water?  Do you really know if your well water is safe to drink?

Drinking water for roughly one-sixth of U.S. households comes from private wells, of which there is little enforced regulation. With proper care, well water is extremely safe.

Well Water Pollution

However, if polluted ground water is consumed, it could cause illness.

These wells can become contaminated by chemicals or pathogenic organisms caused by seepage through landfills, failed septic tanks, underground fuel tanks, fertilizers and pesticides, and runoff from urban areas

I recommend inspection, testing and remediation for wells providing drinking water. Especially if there are children drinking the water. Children are more susceptible to the waterborne illnesses that can result from contaminated wells.

When to have your well tested

Test your well water once each year for total coliform bacteria, fecal coliform, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. If you suspect other contaminants, you should test for those as well.


Best Practice

The best way to to check if your well water is safe to consult a local expert, such as the local health department, about local contaminants of concern. You should also have your well tested if:

  1. There are known problems with well water in your area
  2. You have experienced problems near your well (i.e., flooding, land disturbances, and nearby waste disposal sites)
  3. You replace or repair any part of your well system.
  4. You notice a change in water quality (i.e., taste, color, odor)

For information on having your well tested see your local EPA website. New England Region. or contact:

MASSACHUSETTS D.E.P. online listing
(978) 682-5237
Radiochemistry: (617) 983-6870
Department of Environmental Protection
William X. Wall Experiment Station
37 Shattuck Street
Lawrence, MA 01843

For more information on well testing see the CDC website on ~ well water testing FAQ’s


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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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