Water Testing, Drinking Water Analyses

Well Water Testing

Drinking Water Testing for Potability, also known as Bacteria Testing, or Coliform Bacteria testing.

Caltest provides analysis of drinking water from municipal systems, community water systems, small community water systems, and household and agricultural wells. All drinking waters should be tested for potability using a coliform bacteria test. A test result of ‘Absent’ indicates the well or distribution system is free of coliform bacterial contamination, and is therefore considered potable with respect to bacteria. A result of ‘Present’ indicates the presence of coliform bacteria, and possibility of contamination from other bacteriological pathogens. Water systems with detectable coliform bacteria will need dis-infection and re-testing.

Home Water Well Testing

Home water wells should be checked for coliform bacteria as an indicator of the well’s seal remaining intact and protecting the well from contaminated surface water or near surface waters. Private wells are often tested for other parameters beyond coliform bacteria. Home water well test packages include tests for common nuisance conditions related to excess iron, manganese, sulfides or hardness; as well as health related tests for excess nitrate, arsenic, or lead.

Irrigation Water Testing

Irrigation wells are tested for agriculturally relevant parameters such as total dissolved solids, boron, sodium, chloride, sulfate, as well as iron and manganese that can be associated with biofilms that can clog drip emitters.

A list of Home well and Irrigation water analyses is available here.

Sampling and Delivery to the Lab

Sampling for water well testing purposes should include the correct containers, and coliform bacteria testing has a special protocol that should be followed in order to prevent contamination of the sample by the person collecting the sample. Sample containers can be shipped to you from the lab, or brought by the lab in person. Courier service may be available within a 50 mile radius of the lab for a fee.