If you have a water well in your home or you are considering buying a home with a well there are some things you need to know. When purchasing a home with a well the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends an initial water quality test. The test should include coliform, bacteria, nitrates/nitrites, and pH. Additional recommendations for well testing include arsenic, lead, copper, radon, a gross alpha screen, and volatile organic compounds. While living in the home the well should be tested annually.
If the home has a water treatment system, a test should be done on both the raw water coming into the house before the treatment system and after the water has passed through the treatment system. This will identify contaminants in the water and ensure the treatment system is functioning properly.
If the home is being financed with an FHA or VA loan, the lender will most likely require a well test. The FHA Scan tests for coliform, lead, nitrates and nitrites. Prospective buyers should also hire an independent professional to have the water tested at a state certified lab. For more information on drinking water quality standards, visit EPA’s website: www.epa.gov/safewater.
In addition to a well quality water test, the mechanical workings of the water system should also be inspected also known as a quantity test. The pump, pressure tank, water treatment system, condition of the area around the well, and the well’s proximity to potential contamination sources will all be examined.