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Drinking Water Testing

Illustration of test bottle being filled with a sample of tap water.
Department of Health and Human Services

Drinking Water Testing

Most contaminants in water have no taste, color, or smell. The only way you might know if you have a problem is to test your drinking water. 

The water coming to your home may already be regularly tested for certain contaminants depending on your water supply. If you have a private residential well, testing is your responsibility.

   

Type 1 community public water supplies are required to test their water on a routine schedule for certain contaminants.

  • If a contaminant is found in the water, those water test results will be reported in the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR).
  • Water is tested at the water supply facility, but the water quality in your home may be different. After leaving the water supply facility, water flows through service lines and your home's plumbing where contaminants can enter the water.
  • Check with your supplier or their CCR to learn about contaminant testing and results.
  • If you have concerns about your water quality or want to know more about your drinking water, consider having your drinking water tested by a certified drinking water laboratory.


Type 3 public water supply owners are required to test the water when the well is constructed.

  • Talk with your landlord, property owner, or community association to find out who is responsible for the well, testing, and maintenance.
  • Learn about their testing schedules and results.
  • If you have concerns about your water quality or want to know more about your drinking water, consider doing your own testing.


You own your water system! This comes with the responsibility of protecting your drinking water quality and the groundwater source. Private well owners are required to test the water when the well is constructed.  

  • Check with your local health department to learn if there are any drinking water concerns in your area and what testing is recommended. 
  • Learn about what might be in the groundwater you drink. 
  • Test your drinking water on a routine schedule. MDHHS recommends the following testing:
Every Year
Coliform Bacteria and E. coli
Nitrate
Nitrite
Every 3 to 5 Years
Arsenic
Copper
Lead
 

 

To learn more, view the Protect Against the Unknown: Test Your Drinking Water from Your Well Fact Sheet.


Steps to Test Your Drinking Water

  • If you have concerns about your water quality or want to know more about your drinking water, there are ways to gather information.

    • If your water comes from a type 1 community public water supply, learn about common drinking water quality concerns in these FAQs. Review your water supply’s Consumer Confidence Report or talk with your supplier so you understand the quality of water coming to your home.
    • If your water comes from a type 3 public water supply, talk with your landlord, property owner, or community association to find out who is responsible for the well and testing. You can ask about their testing schedules and results.
    • If your water comes from a private residential well, you are responsible for testing your water. Learn more about what to test for.
  • If you still have concerns about the quality of your drinking water and want to know more, consider having your water tested by a certified laboratory.

    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, individual residences?
    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)

    EGLE Drinking Water Analysis Laboratory 517-335-8184

    Local Health Department

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

    Certified Drinking Water Analysis Lab

    Contact a Michigan Certified Private Drinking Water Analysis Laboratory

  • 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. 

To stay up to date with current resources and opportunities being offered through the program, subscribe to the Drinking Water and Health newsletter.

If you have questions, please contact the MDHHS Drinking Water Hotline at 844-934-1315.