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water from a sink


Well ​Water Testing

The Brant County Health Unit offers free well water testing for residents whose drinking water comes from a private well.

Water samples are tested for two types of bacteria: total coliforms and E. coli.

  • Total coliforms. These bacteria are often found in animal waste, sewage, soil and vegetation. If they are in your drinking water, it means contaminated surface water may be entering your well.

  • E. coli (Escherichia coli). These bacteria are normally found only in the digestive systems of people and animals. If they are in your drinking water, it usually means that animal or human sewage waste is entering your well from a nearby source.

If these bacteria are in your water, they could cause illness such as stomach cramps, diarrhea, and other symptoms, which can lead to additional health concerns.

All private well owners are encouraged to get their water tested every spring, summer and fall, even if it looks, tastes and smells fine.

We also recommend that you test your water:

  • After any repairs to your well;
  • If your well hasn't been used for several weeks;
  • If there is flooding in the area; or
  • If you notice a change in your water (e.g. smell, taste or colour).

Whether your test results are positive or negative, it is important to understand that the sample you collected is just a "snapshot" of your well's water quality. The more samples you have tested, the more confident you can be about the quality of the water you and your family are drinking.

In addition to regularly testing well water, owners should inspect their well at least once a year to make sure it is free from damage and in good working condition.

We do not test well water samples for chemicals like sodium, nitrates, and lead. Please contact a private lab for further testing.

​Environmental Health​ 

519-753-4937 ext. 470​​