You might be wondering what a well flow and water quality test is if you have never lived in a home with a well. Although most homes rely on city water, there are about 15 million households that are supplied by well water. Well water has several benefits, one being the cost benefits. Although you don't have to pay for water used on a well system, you do have to keep up on the maintenance and inspection of your well. Well flow and water quality testing are among some of the maintenance needed for a well system. Well flow and water quality tests determine if there is adequate water supply as well as if there are contaminants in your water supply.
Well flow and water quality testing is highly recommended by the EPA. Cities and townships are required to test the public water sources regularly but with private well systems you are responsible for the quality of your water. Well water comes directly from the ground and may come in contact with various contaminants. It is important to make sure your water is free from any bacteria, nitrates, iron, sulfide or other potential contaminants.
If your home inspector uncovers contaminants during your water quality inspection there are several methods that might be recommended:
If there is not adequate water supply several methods might be implemented:
During a well flow test, your inspector will run the water for a certain amount of time. This simulates a normal usage of water and will determine if your well is able to supply an adequate amount of water. A well flow test will determine if there is a problem with the flow or associated equipment such as the pump or storage tank.
During a water quality test, water samples are drawn and sent to a certified laboratory for testing. You may test for a number of contaminants but the most recommended are chlorine, lead and coliform bacteria.