Water Well Testing

Sampling & Testing Private Well Water

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and the Ontario Ministry of Health recommend that private water wells be tested three times a year. The water should be tested for bacteria, including total coliforms and E.coli. The Renfrew County and District Health Unit provides these tests for free.

www.rcdhu.com The Renfrew County and District Health Unit website, for more detailed information on sampling, testing and what to do if your well water is contaminated

The following is the recommended routine sampling procedure for coliforms and E.coli:

  • Use the sampling bottle provided by the agency doing your testing.
  • Select a non-swivel tap, remove any attachments that may be on the tap. Run hot water for two or three minutes. Then run the cold water for at least 5 minutes.
  • Label the bottle and complete the forms that came with the bottle.
  • Remove the bottle cap, do not touch the bottle lip, the inside of the lid or inside the bottle. Do not set the lid down, hold it in your fingers with the open end facing down. Do not rinse the bottle, the material in the bottle is a preservative. (the key is to get a sample of the water, not the bacteria that may be on your hand, the sink or the counter.)
  • Fill the sample bottle to the fill line directly from the tap, do not adjust the flow.
  • Replace the cap on the bottle.
  • Refridgerate the sample until transporting it to the health unit or the laboratory. This must be done within 24 hours of taking the sample.