What should I sample my groundwater well for before drinking?

If I wanted to sample my well out back to make sure it is safe for drinking, what would be the best things to test for if I couldn't spend more than $1000?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    You can really narrow what you should sample for by doing a little homework first. In the end, you'll get more informative data for a lower cost.

    Contact your state environmental regulator to see if you are near any listed cleanup sites. You should sample for anything they are sampling for in groundwater. This is especially true if the well was actively use by the prior owner. Contaminants may have been drawn toward the well.

    Second, ask the environmental regulator if your region has natural high concentrations of toxic heavy metals like arsenic. As this is likely an older well, you'll want to sample for lead due to pipes and fitting/solder leeching regardless.

    Here is where more details would be helpful. If the well is shallow, then you need to consider that any surface contamination may reach your well. This includes nitrates, nitrites, pesticides, herbicides, coliform bacteria, etc. The deeper the well, the less you need to be concerned.

    If there is a gas station within 1 mile of your well, then sample for benzene. If there is a dry cleaner within 1 mile of your well, then sample for the 8260 long list for VOCs.

    You should also make sure that your well is registered with the state, so if someone finds a spill in the future, then you will be notified and your well will be sampled for free.

    I would see what your local water district is willing to do for free, and then follow up on any additional concerns that may arise.

    Source(s): 6 years of environmental consulting experience protecting municipal well fields, BS biochemsitry
  • 1 decade ago

    I took a sample to mine to my local water testing lab and they gave me a full report - it wasn't expensive at all, no where near $1000 for the full test.

  • 1 decade ago

    Bacteria, nitrates & lead

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    carcinogens, heavy metals, pesticides, radioactive contaminants.

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