View Full Version : Well water home test kit

12-27-2009, 10:23 PM
Does anyone else have experience with ordering testing kits online? We were looking at costs in the hundreds of dollars to have our well water tested. That would be difficult to afford.

I bought the Silver Lake Research kit and tried it out.
It was only $25 to test for pesticides, bacteria, fertilizers, and other contaminants. It has test strips for tests that take from 15 seconds to 10 minutes, except the bacteria test. Lucky for us, our well water has passed all the tests so far, except the bacteria one is a 48 hour test, and it is not yet complete.

I don't know how reliable the tests are, though. We were careful to follow the instructions exactly.
Perhaps there is another source of cheaper testing that we have overlooked?

12-28-2009, 06:16 PM
Sally I don't know about where you live but I was told to just take a jar of water to the hospital and they test it for free. My wife is irritated with me that I have not taken a sample in from our well yet. I just use it to wash dishes and such and take drinking water with me when I go to our property. Sooner or later I'll have to take a sample in.
Good luck

12-29-2009, 09:40 AM
I've never ordered one myself but here's (http://www.lehmans.com/store/Water___Water_Purifiers___Our_Best_Water_Test___WC 1?Args=) one from a place not too far from me.

Builder Ken
12-29-2009, 02:32 PM
You need to test at least yearly here in OK a diner was on well water and had a problem with bacteria and many people got sick and some even died. It was traced back to the well. I think it was e'coli .Ken

12-29-2009, 05:21 PM
We did the same thing. Found the tests for $15, but that was a little while ago. Here's a write-up on Cleaning a well (http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/barden105.html).


12-29-2009, 08:31 PM
Ok, so it sounds like discovertesting is the place to go for good, cheap test kits. Thanks for all the responses.

Pat, your writeup sounds like it was an ordeal. That problem gave me the heebie jeebies!

12-29-2009, 10:52 PM
Have you checked with your local health department? Here in Michigan you can pick up basic test kits for free and then fill the bottles and send it to the state lab. The tests aren't too bad, I think it's 18.00 each for the bacteriological and the partial chemical. The partical chem will cover iron, hardness, chlorides, etc. and the bacti will check for bugs. Those are the basic tests that everyone should do. I wouldn't worry about testing for pesticides or volatile organics unless you have an old dug well, or a well that is not properly constructed and a source of contamination nearby, or if something turns up in the initial tests. For instance, if your partial chem found nitrates in the water, it's a cause for concern and may indicate further testing is needed. If the partial chem doesn't turn anything up, you can be pretty sure that nothing else is in your well water. I'd be just a little leery of 'strip tests'; they cannot always be trusted, depending on how the strips were packaged and handled before you got them.
As far as taking in a jar of water someplace, that won't always work as most tests require a specific amount of water in a specific container. You have to have a sterile container of a certain capacity to do the colilert test, for example.
Good luck!