Well Water Testing

We can all agree that the quality of your drinking water is very important. If you are on municipal water or are served by a water district, the water is already tested regularly. But if your water comes from a well or is hauled in and placed in a cistern then you should regularly test your water.

Testing your well water

Wyoming DEQ recommends sampling annually for a select list of constituents (bacteria and nitrate) and every 5 years for a comprehensive list of constituents. You should also test when:

  • When there is an unexplained illness in the household,
  • If there are changes to the taste, color or odor of the water,
  • If there are spills of chemicals or fuel near your well, or
  • If your neighbors find contaminants in their well

The District offers cost share on well water testing for District members. Collection dates are offered in the spring and fall annually. See below for upcoming testing dates and information. The Annual Well Maintenance test tests for bacteria and nitrates, while the Domestic plus Bacteria test offers a more comprehensive test. Tests for livestock and irrigation suitability are also offered.

Well Siting and Maintenance

Homeowners are responsible for maintaining their water well and testing the water quality. This will help prevent contamination from getting into the groundwater. This includes not only properly locating your well site, but also maintaining the integrity of the well and protecting it from contamination. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality recommends homeowners test their water every other year.

For information on properly maintaining your well, see the article in the Barnyards and Backyards magazine: You are responsible for the quality of your domestic well water

Do you haul water? Testing your cistern…

Whether hauling yourself of paying a hauling service, be sure to use clean water. It is also recommended that homeowners test the water from their cistern at least annually as well. And annual cleaning is also important to help remove sludge and sediment buildup. Also clean and test the water when:

  • When the water looks, smells, or tastes different than usual, and a test tells you it’s contaminated
  • When contaminants—such as rodents or water from overland flooding—get in the cistern
  • After the cistern is installed and sediment needs to be removed from the bottom of the tank

Tips on cleaning your cistern from My Health Alberta:

It is the homeowners responsibility to maintain their cistern the same as a private well, to ensure safe drinking water. The same tests for well water will also work to test the water from your cistern.

2022 Testing Important Dates

The District offers two testing dates annually, one in the spring and one in the fall. Check here for details about the next upcoming testing date.

Sampling Day: November 29, 2022: collect your samples that morning and bring them to the office by 10 am or to the Upton Town Hall by 11 am.

TIMELINE

  • Reserve your kit by November 11, 2022
  • Pick-up your kit after November 18, 2022

Test Options

OPTIONTEST DESCRIPTIONYOUR COST
1Annual Well Maintenance – Bacteria Coliform Presence/Absence, Nitrate + Nitrite as N, Total Dissolved Solids.$45.00
2Domestic + bacteria test Bacteria/E-Coli Coliform Presence/Absence, Sulfate, Total Hardness, Nitrate, Nitrite, Sodium, Total Dissolved Solids, pH, Fluoride, Chloride$53.50
3Livestock & irrigation suitability test – Alkalinity, Chloride, Fluoride, Sulfate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium,  Sodium, Nitrate + Nitrite As N, Conductivity, Hardness, pH, Sodium Absorption Ratio, Total Dissolved Solids$43.50
4Livestock Suitability test Sulfate, Nitrate + Nitrite as N, pH, Total Dissolved Solids$31.00
5Irrigation Classification test – Metals, Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Conductivity, Sodium Adsorption Ratio$28.50

Sampling Procedures

Please refer to these sampling instructions to ensure you collet an accurate sample: Collecting A Sample for Bacteriological Analysis

  • The same procedure can be followed to fill all bottles provided in your test kit

Results

  • If your sample tests positive for bacteria, you will be notified within 48 hours and provided next steps: Shock Chlorination Brochure
  • Final test results will be sent out within about 2 weeks

Sample results interpretation

Well Educated: Understanding Your Test Results

Water Quality Interpretation Tool, courtesy of Colorado State University