Well & Water Inspection

Glass of waterWell water analysis is subject to the New Jersey Well Water Testing Act. All water must be tested before a property can be sold or transferred. In most cases, the seller is responsible to ensure that a certified well water testing company that is licensed by the state conducts the analysis. Consult your attorney to determine all details and EPA testing requirements prior to closing.

City water is continually monitored by the Health Department. However, lead products may be present in the water supply due to the type of piping, solder joints, etc. that are present in the structure.

The only way to determine lead content is to conduct a lead test on the water. Since a well is subject to individual types of contaminates (bacteria, nitrates, nitrites, pesticides, petroleum products, etc.) a wide range of parameters should be tested.

A standard well water test usually includes the following parameters: bacteria, nitrates, nitrites, PH, hardness, iron, or copper.

Lead, petroleum products, pesticides, etc. are not considered part of a standard water test and are much more expensive to perform.

Water Analysis: Basic Parameters

Coliform Bacteria
This bacteria is found in the natural environment and in the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals. The presence of bacteria in water indicates possible contamination from septic or soil. Residents will develop a tolerance for the bacteria; however, strangers may become ill from drinking the water. Boiling the water is recommended until the well is chlorinated and flushed.

Recommended frequency of testing: Once per year.

Numerical expression indicating the degree of acidity on a scale of 0-14 with 0 being the strongest acid, 7 being neutral, and 14 being the strongest alkaline. A range of 6.5 to 8.5, with 7.8 to 8.0 as an optimum has been determined for maximum environmental and aesthetic benefits. High PH values are undesirable since they add a bitter taste to the water; whereas, low PH values can cause corrosion of plumbing. A neutralizer will increase low PH values.

Recommended frequency of testing: Once every 5 years. Unless there is a problem, then once per year.

Water hardness is caused by dissolved metals and is usually reported in concentration of calcium carbonate. Water with a hardness below 50 mg/1 is considered soft and above 150 mg/1 is considered hard. Soft water tends to be corrosive while hard water causes scaling, thus reducing the capacity of plumbing to carry water. Hard water also causes soaps to lose their effectiveness. Detergents are recommended. A water softener will reduce hardness, and a neutralizer will increase it.

Recommended frequency of testing: Once every 5 years. Unless there is a problem, then once per year.

Nitrate in the water indicates possible contamination from septic, livestock manure piles, or fertilizers. High nitrate levels have been associated with methmoglobinemia (blue baby disease) in infants under the age of three months. A reverse osmosis treatment system will reduce nitrate levels.

Recommended frequency of testing: Once per year.

This metal will cause brownish staining of plumbing fixtures and laundry. A bitter taste is also associated with iron. Although not a major health concern, iron is a major aesthetic problem in many areas. Filters will generally reduce levels.

Recommended frequency of testing: Once every 5 years. Unless there is a problem, then once per year.

This metal can cause blue-green staining of the plumbing fixtures, a bitter taste, and has also been known to cause dyed hair to turn green. The major source of copper is the copper piping in the plumbing. Copper is corroded into the water if the water is soft or has a low PH. A neutralizer will eliminate this cause. Another source of copper is from the well water directly. In this case, there are usually other heavy metals found along with the copper, and a filter is required to remove them.

Recommended frequency of testing: Once every 5 years. Unless there is a problem, then once per year.

If your sample does not conform with the required standards as indicated on your analysis form, contact a local water treatment company.