Recommended Testing for Drinking Water from Wells

Total Coliform – The presence of coliform bacteria in your water supply is indicative of fecal pollution.  Diseases such as diarrhea, Asiatic cholera, salmonellosis, dysentery, hepatitis, typhoid fever, urinary tract infections, ear infections, colitis and skin diseases may be spread through fecal contamination.

Nitrate – Levels of nitrates exceeding 10 mg/L as nitrogen have been shown to cause methemoglobinemia in infants.  This results in oxygen deprivation, which may be harmful to the developing nervous system of young children or cause death by suffocation.  Symptoms include chocolate colored blood, headache, flushing of the skin, vomiting, dizziness, marked fall of blood pressure, cyanosis (bluish purple discoloration of skin and mucous membranes), collapse, coma, and respiratory paralysis.

Lead – Lead concentrations in excess of 0.015 mg/L may result in black stools, a metallic taste, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, oliguria (diminution in the quality of urine excreted), collapse and coma.  It is particularly harmful to children for it may lower their intelligence.  Pregnant women may bear children with clubfeet, or with neurological, mental or physical abnormalities.  It also may be a major cause of hypertension, brain and kidney damage, stroke and heart attacks for middle age men.

Arsenic – Arsenic concentrations in excess of 0.01 mg/L may cause loss of energy and fatigue, gastroenteritis, burning esophageal pain, vomiting and cpious watery or bloody diarrhea containing shreds of mucous.  Death may result due to circulatory failure.  May have increased risk of cancer.