Friday, May 9, 2014

Where Can I Get My Well Water Tested for Bacteria?

Do you test for coliform bacteria, or know where I can have my well water tested for coliform bacteria?

- Peter


One suggestion is to contact your local County Health Department. Often the Health Dept will offer bacteria testing or they can recommend a local lab where you can take your sample for testing.

There is an effective home test kit available,  the "Coliform Bacteria EZ Cult 24 Hour" test. This test kit is a do-it-yourself coliform test that can verify the presence of coliform bacteria. It is EPA compliant. However it is NOT state certified or licensed.  If you are testing your water for a new home purchase for example and the bank requires a licensed lab, we recommend a certified lab test.

coliform bacteria test kit
Coliform Bacteria EZ Cult 24 Hour Test
When using this simple test the media turns blue-green in the presence of coliform bacteria. E. coli growth is confirmed by blue fluorescence under UV light (not included, purchase separately if you also want to test for E.Coli bacteria)
U V Light
UV Light for Coliform EZ test

For cheap and easy lab quality testing, we recommend the WaterCheck: Quick Coliform Test. This test will test for the presence or absence of coliform and E.coli bacteria, and will fax the preliminary test results back to you in two business days.
WaterCheck: Quick Coliform Test

For more extensive or state required testing (such as applying for a new day care center license or a bank loan) we recommend the Watercheck which offers Professional EPA-certified laboratory results available for the fraction of the cost of regular laboratory testing.
WaterCheck Test Kit
WaterCheck Certified Lab Test
How To Collect A Water Sample For The WaterCheck
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water.
  • Take the sample from a cold water tap. Use a tap without a screen or remove the screen before you collect the sample.
  • Let the cold water run constantly for at least 2 minutes before you collect the sample.
  • Hold the bottle near the base of the tap to get the sample. Fill it past the 200 mL mark (to the shoulder of the bottle). Do not overfill the bottle.
  • Put the cap on the bottle right away. Make sure the cap is secure, but do not over-tighten it.
  • Put the identification label from the requisition form on the bottle.
Fill out the requisition form and include the information below. If you miss anything on the requisition, your sample might not be processed.
  • Name and daytime phone number
  • Mailing address and postal code
  • Collection site (e.g., kitchen sink)
  • Legal land description and/or civic address
  • Date and time sample was collected
  • Name of person who collected the sample
On the requisition form, write down if this is a re-sample. You also need to fill out section A (Drinking Water) and add any comments or special requests at the bottom of the requisition.
  • Put the sample and requisition form in the plastic bag that came with the sample bottle.
  • Put the sample in a cooler filled with ice packs and bring it to a drop-off location near you right away, or if sending by express, use overnight next day morning option.
Note: Samples must be collected from the cold water supply line. do not:
  • Rinse the sampling bottle
  • Let water overflow or splash down the side of the bottle
  • Put the cap on a counter-top (it can get contaminated)
  • Open the bottle until you are ready to collect your sample
  • Touch the inside of the cap, mouth, or neck of the bottle
  • Collect samples from a garden hose, outside tap, or other place that might be dirty

Thanks for writing to us and we hope this can help solve your problem. Try viewing our Bacteria page if you would like more information about removing bacteria from well water. If you have any further questions, or would like to update us on your progress - we love pictures and testimonials! - you can reach us at or on Facebook. Thanks for the letter!