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Private Well Owners


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Private Well Owners

If you use a private well for your drinking water, making sure that the water is safe is your responsibility. Both the US EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend annual sampling to ensure optimal water quality. Wells should also be inspected once a year to make sure there are no mechanical problems.

In addition to annual testing you should consider more frequent testing if:

  • Someone in the house is pregnant or nursing
  • The water is being used to prepare formula for an infant
  • Your neighbors find a dangerous contaminant in their water
  • You note a change in water taste, odor, color or clarity
  • When you replace or repair any part of your well or plumbing system

Test Kits Available

The kits test for bacteria and the following chemical parameters:

  • Nitrate
  • Nitrite
  • Iron
  • Fluoride
  • Alkalinity
  • pH
  • Chloride
  • Sulfate
  • Sodium
  • Hardness

Please Note:

  • Samples should not be collected on Friday Saturday or Sunday.
  • The Well owner should allow their water to run for 5 minutes then fill the containers at a non swivel tap and immediately return the kit to the one of the purchase sites.
  • The well owner should fill out as much information as possible on the forms.
  • These test kits WILL NOT be analyzed for compounds that may be in your water due to a spill or environmental release.

If you think there may be a problem with your well:

  • If you have questions about the construction of your well, or need a contractor to repair or replace the well please contact DNREC's Water Supply Section.
  • If you believe your well has been impacted by a spill or environmental release contact the DNREC Hotline.
  • Consider using bottled water for drinking and cooking until you have contacted the Office of Drinking Water or DNREC.

For more information on water test kits for private well owners please contact:

Return to Environmental Laboratory home page.


Return to the Delaware Public Health Laboratory home page.

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Additional Links

DNREC Division of
Water Resources
Water Supply Section


Interpreting Your
Drinking Water


Private Drinking
Water Wells


CDC - Private Ground Water Wells

Office of Drinking
Water Home Page