Drinking Water Testing

Illustration of woman by a sing, encouraging you to test your well waterTest Your Drinking Water

Contaminants in water may have no taste, color, or smell. You may not know if you have a problem unless you test your water.

Contaminants in drinking water can be harmful to your health. Some can cause temporary health problems, while others can cause long-term health problems.

 

You should test your private residential well drinking water on a routine schedule.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recommends the following routine well testing schedule.

Every Year

Coliform Bacteria and E. coli

Nitrate

Nitrite

Every 3 to 5 Years

Arsenic

Copper

Lead

Learn More About Testing Your Drinking Water

Test Your Drinking Water Factsheet Thumbnail - Click for PDF

Steps to Testing Your Drinking Water

Step 1: Know what contaminant you want to test your drinking water for

If you are not sure what to test your drinking water for, look at the Protect Against the Unknown: Test Your Drinking Water from Your Well Fact Sheet or call your local health department to learn more about when you need to test your water. They may recommend additional testing based on water conditions in your areas.

  • Special note if testing for lead: If you are testing for lead, consider what you want to learn from your test. The amount of water collected (bottle size) can help identify where the lead may be coming from. Learn more on how to select your bottle size at https://bit.ly/3soAtTL.

Step 2: Find a certified lab

Certified labs must meet standards for proper methods and quality control.  A few questions to ask when deciding which lab to use:

  1. Does the lab analyze water samples from private residential wells?
  2. Does the lab analyze water samples for the contaminant you want to test your drinking water for?
  3. Does the lab accept water samples statewide?
  4. What is the cost?

Certified Lab Options

Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)

Local Health Department

Contact your local health department to learn if they offer drinking water testing.

Certified Drinking Water Analysis Lab

 

Step 3: Follow all sampling, packing, and shipping instructions

This is very important if you want accurate results. Water samples can be easily contaminated if instructions are not followed. Water samples may require ice packs and/or overnight shipping to the lab.

 

Want to learn more about private residential wells? Select one of the options below: