Many first time well owners are concerned about the health and safety of their family concerning well eater. A majority of private wells operate for many years and homeowners encounter no issues. However, it is always a good idea to double check the condition of the well water that you’re using. Water testing is a process that homeowners submit their well water to that guarantees its quality. If you’re a new well owner and confused about water testing, we are here to help. Read on to learn all about the basics of well water testing and why it is important to your home.

An invaluable resource for water testing is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also known as the CDC. The CDC does a lot of research on clean and healthy drinking water in the U.S. They are a valuable tool for all homeowners, especially those who own wells.

Water Quality Indicators

Water quality indicators, a.k.a. WQIs, are indicators that well experts use to measure the safety of well water. Most WQIs are not harmful in and of themselves. However, they are typically the close companions of water contaminants that do cause sickness. Water contaminants can be quite difficult to test for, so WQIs act as signals to water testing experts that something is wrong. Microscopic levels of WQIs in your well water are completely fine, and actually very normal.

There are at home water testing kits on the market that well owners can purchase in order to conduct testing at home themselves. However, most well experts warn homeowners against those home testing kits. Most of the kits don’t test for all of the necessary WQIs that the CDC recommends.

pH Level

The pH scale is designed to tell how acidic or basic any liquid is, including your well water. The lower numbers on the scale indicate more acidic level, while higher numbers mean that a liquid is more basic. pH scales run one through fourteen, with water’s pH falling right in the middle at seven. Water that moves too far away from a pH of seven is bad for both the people using the water as well as the plumbing in the house. In addition to safety concerns, the pH level has a huge impact on how the water tastes.


Coliforms are bacteria that primarily live in the digestive tracks of warm-blooded animals. The bacteria can also live in soil, plants, and surface water, like puddles. Coliforms are largely passive bacteria. However, they usually go hand-in-hand with actual health risks like germs, parasites, and bacteria.

Water that has a high level of coliforms in it poses serious health risks to the users. Anybody that ingests the water has potential to experience diarrhea, dysentery, and hepatitis.

Come Back Next Week

For the second part of this series.