Well water can have contaminants that we cannot smell, taste, or see. The only way to know if your well is contaminated is through testing! There are a few essential tests that should be performed routinely on every private well. You may decide to test more often if your previous results were unsafe.
There are a few essential tests that should be performed routinely on every private well:
- Bacteria: once a year and when you notice a change in taste, color or smell.
- Nitrate: once a year and before the well will be used by a woman who is or may become pregnant.
- Arsenic: every well should be tested once. Sample yearly if arsenic was present in previous tests.
For more information, see Drinking Water Tests for Private Wells [PDF].
The Health Department can test your well water! Test kits can be picked up at the Health Department Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm. The kit contains the bottles, testing instructions, and a Private Well Water Test Request Form. We accept returned samples Monday-Thursday from 8:00am-4:00pm. No samples will be accepted on holidays or Fridays because samples cannot be analyzed over the weekend.
- Bacteria: $30 and will be analyzed in-house
- Nitrate: $30 and will be sent to UW-Oshkosh for testing
- La Crosse County Health Department
- If you would like to test your water here, the Monroe County Health Departments has bottles you can pick-up! They test for arsenic, bacteria, metals, lead, and nitrate.
- UW- Stevens Point: You can get water testing kits mailed to you from UW- Stevens Point. After you take a water sample, you mail it back to UW-Stevens Point. If you are unsure of what to test for, their lab offers a “Basic Homeowner” kit.
- Vernon County Health Department