Although the majority of drinking water sources provide safe drinking water, all water contains varying amounts of both natural and synthetic contaminants.
Many of these contaminants are beneficial or even essential to human nutrition. However, at elevated levels, certain contaminants have been linked to a variety of health problems.
Anatek Labs, Inc. routinely provides testing services to private well owners and individuals considering purchase of a home or other real estate that includes a drinking water well. Many of the contaminants included in the test package are the same contaminants that public water systems, such as city water systems, are required to monitor. This testing is performed at a reduced cost to serve the needs of our private well customers.
We can test private wells for the presence or absence of coliform bacteria, for an extensive list of inorganic contaminants (including lead, mercury, and other metals), and also for a variety of volatile and semi-volatile compounds, including pesticides, herbicides, and other man-made chemicals in the environment.
To get the most information about their water quality, homeowners should test their water during both the highest runoff and lowest runoff times of the year. It is likely that the results will differ for most parameters, and these values should represent the extremes in your water quality
We recommend that customers perform a private well test for coliform bacteria and inorganic contaminants if they are purchasing property with a well or want additional information about their current wells. Private well tests are reported directly to the homeowner or purchaser; these are not regulatory samples, and as such are not reported to the county or state health departments.
Other sources for information about private wells:
The EPA website has more information about water quality, private wells, and drinking water contaminants.
This brochure provides a nice overview/explanation of the results of a private well test (Your Private Well: What Do The Results Mean?)
Bacteria are a common contaminant of well water. There are many types of bacteria, not all of which are harmful. A simple method to test water for bacteria is to use the coliform presence/absence test. A positive coliform test may indicate the presence of potentially harmful bacteria in your water. We recommend that private well owners test their water for bacteria quarterly. This method indicates whether or not coliform bacteria are present in the water sample, but does not estimate the extent of contamination. The method is sensitive down to 1 bacterial colony, and even 1 colony is considered unsatisfactory
A positive test results indicated that there is coliform bacteria in the water and there could be other harmful pathogens present. If your sample is positive for coliform bacteria, we will further test the sample for the presence of E. Coli. E. Coli is a member of the coliform bacteria family and is found in the intestinal tracts of warm blooded animals. A sample that is positive for E.Coli is suspected of being contaminated with fecal material.
For more information on microbiological testing and treatment, including a link to instructions for ‘shocking’ a well, please see our Microbiology page.
Our private well inorganic contaminant testing package screens your water sample for the inorganic contaminants that are most likely to be found in drinking water. Community water systems test their finished drinking water for many of these same analytes. Our easy-to-read report includes information on each constituent as well as the EPA guidelines on contaminant limits where applicable.
The following analytes are tested:
Testing is provided for a comprehensive list of pesticides and other organic chemicals of concern.
Testing is provided for a comprehensive list of volatile organic chemicals.
Testing is provided for a list of herbicides of concern.
(includes all tests listed above except for herbicide screening)
(includes all tests listed above)
Although the majority of drinking water sources provide safe drinking water, all water contains varying amounts of both natural and synthetic contaminants. Many of these contaminants are beneficial or even essential to human nutrition. However, at elevated levels, certain contaminants have been linked to a variety of health problems.
The three general classes of contaminants in drinking water are inorganic, bacterial and organic. Nearly all contaminants of concern in private well water are bacterial or inorganic. Anatek Labs, Inc. has developed an inorganic testing package at a reduced cost to serve the needs of our private well customers. Many of the contaminants included in the package are the same contaminants that public water systems, such as city water systems, are required to monitor. A list of these contaminants can be found in the Tests and Prices section of this brochure.
Metals enter water systems in a variety of ways. Metals such as iron, arsenic, barium, nickel and selenium are found naturally in mineral deposits and find their way into drinking water through runoff. Improper use or storage of materials containing cadmium, chromium and mercury can introduce these metals into drinking water. Corrosion of household plumbing often causes high levels of lead and copper in drinking water.
Some of these metals are only a nuisance when found in high levels in your drinking water, such as the red staining on fixtures from high iron levels. However, health experts have found that some of these metals cause health problems at high levels. Too much lead in the human body can cause serious damage to the brain, kidneys, and red blood cells, especially in young children. High mercury and cadmium levels have been linked to kidney and liver damage. Barium may cause heart and cardiovascular problems, and chromium may be harmful to the nervous and circulatory systems.
Bacteria are also a common contaminant of well water. There are many different types of bacteria, not all of which are harmful. The simplest method to test water for bacteria is to use a coliform presence/absence test. A positive coliform test result may indicate the presence of potentially harmful bacteria in your water. A negative result indicates that there is good reason to believe that the water is free of disease-causing bacteria.