If you are considering the purchase of a rural home, often it will be provided with a private water supply (well) and a private sewage disposal system (septic tank and leaching field).
In some cases you may wish to test the water supply in a house with water provided by the municipality. A test for lead in the water is recommended, for example, in an older home with lead water pipes. In a home with a well, testing the water when a home changes owners is always a good idea. ECHIS samples water in the home and delivers it to a state licensed water laboratory for analysis. Following are some of the more commonly performed tests.
Standard Potability Test
A standard potability test evaluates water for bacteria, pH, color, odor, turbidity, hardness, and commonly found elements such as nitrates and nitrites, iron, manganese, and sodium. The test for bacteria is focused on total coliform and fecal coliform bacteria, which may indicate ground water contamination of the well, or in the case of fecal coliform bacteria, contamination by manure or other sources. The various items tested have Recommended Maximum or Maximum Allowable levels set by the State of Connecticut. Your water report will tell you if any item is higher than recommended. Some items may be high, but not cause the water to be unsafe to drink. A high iron level, for example, will not harm you if you drink the water, but it may make iron stains on your sinks and toilets, and cause your laundry to be not quite so white. In some cases, water treatment to reduce levels of certain minerals may be indicated.
Other Water Tests are Available
Your water can also be tested for fluoride (a concern if small children will be drinking the water), lead, arsenic, volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), pesticides, etc. If you have concerns about particular contaminants that may be present in the well, please discuss them with ECHIS so that we can arrange for appropriate testing.
Water Flow Testing
ECHIS tests water flow and pressure from the well by attaching gauges to a water faucet and monitoring flow (gallons per minute) and pressure for a minimum of one hour. Some fluctuation in flow and pressure is normal, but a private well for a residence should be able to deliver an average flow of at least 3 gallons per minute for one hour.