Well Water Testing

  • Water quality is a concern for many reasons
  • What homebuyers Need to Know
  • Why Test the Water Quality?
  • How Can Bad Water Affect a Home Sale?
  • What Can be Done to Prepare?
  • What Should Homeowners and Sellers do?
  • Drinking and bathing in contaminated water can cause serious health problems for your family.
  • If you are purchasing a home with a private well, you should also be concerned about its physical condition. Sometimes a well becomes contaminated because it is defective. In other words, it’s not the water source that’s the problem, it’s the well itself. Wells can be very expensive to repair or replace ($5,000 – $10,000 per well).
  • Your lender may require that the well pass a water test prior to loan approval.
  • Whether you are purchasing a home or have lived in yours for a long time, a private well should be tested for the most common contaminates: bacteria, nitrates, nitrites and lead. The EPA,  recommend ANNUAL testing of private wells.

Millions of Americans live in homes connected to private wells. Whether they’re for bathing, drinking or the plumbing, these wells are key components of the property. Therefore, it’s equally important – if not more so – that the water is tested to ensure safety and quality.

However, many homebuyers overlook this critical step when in the market for a new home, simply because it’s not a problem for every listing – only those that are hooked up to private wells. If you’re interested in a home that fits this description, here’s what you need to know about water testing.

If you’re asking why you should test the water in a private well, the answer is simple: your family’s health and safety. Contaminated wells can contain bacteria, nitrates, nitrites and lead. More extensive tests also look for chlorine, clarity of water, iron and even the pH level. All this is done to ensure that the quality is safe not just for toilets, but also for bathing and drinking. 

While the health and safety of the residents is paramount, there’s another reason why testing the water is a must before buying a home. A damaged well – or a well with low-quality water – could lead to delays in closing and even impact the property’s overall value.

This water supply is integral to homes connected to private wells, and any problem, even a minor one, affects the livability of the house. If the buyer finds that the well is contaminated, he or she could either request a lower purchase price or walk away completely. In many cases, it would at least lead to a delay in closing.

In fact, low-quality water can be leverage for smart buyers. They’ll now have the upper hand on the seller and can negotiate more concessions out of the deal. Fixing a damaged well can cost thousands of dollars, while cleaning the water could be slightly more affordable, depending on the contaminants.

Finally, the loan itself could be contingent on a well inspection and a passing grade, another wrinkle that could delay a purchase.

If a home has a private well, it must be inspected by a trusted professional. At Inspections First we are qualified to perform water testing for private wells. We will collect the water and work with laboratories in the area to test for contaminants. Furthermore, it is recommended that homeowners test their private wells once per year for any potential problems.

The answer can depend on several factors including proximity of the water to a septic system, composition of plumbing materials, as well as any issues with color, taste, smell or staining properties.  Two major reasons to definitely invest in water testing is the possibility of lead and a consideration for a home water treatment unit.
At Inspections First, we believe that water quality is an important part of your family’s overall safety in the home. In addition to their health, other water factors such as a private well or an older home are also issues to consider.  Over time, a private well can become defective and should be inspected. The most common testing of wells include bacteria, nitrates, nitrites and lead.
The EPA, recommend annual testing of private wells and at the time of a sale.