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Water Testing

Household Water Testing

Public Heath Madison & Dane County's certified public health laboratory tests drinking water for a variety of chemical, including lead, and microbial contaminants for public water utilities and private wells. Experienced PHMDC professionals also provide consultations on:

  • Appropriate types of testing
  • Meaning of the test results
  • Reasonable responses to identified problems

Why and when should I test my water?

Public utility drinking water is extensively tested by the utilities at many points in the system and should not need to be tested by individual households. However, when concerns arise, Public Health staff is available to help. Unexplained illnesses or changes in taste, odor or appearance of water may suggest the need for testing.

  • Madison Water Utility: City of Madison water is regularly tested by Public Health - Madison & Dane County laboratory. For specific information about Madison water, go to Madison Water Utility.
  • Dane County Municipal Water: For specific questions about your municipal water, contact your local water utility.

When water is temporarily cloudy or discolored, it may be due to routine flushing of water mains necessary for normal cleaning and maintenance. The cloudiness and discoloration should clear up after a few minutes of running water and does not necessarily indicate a need for testing. If the water does not become clear, call your local water utility.

For Madison residents, you can find out the Water Utility flushing schedule.

Private well drinking water should be tested annually, especially in households including pregnant women, infants and young children. If you have questions for what types of testing you should do for your well, Public Health staff are available to help. Unexplained illnesses or changes in taste, odor or appearance of water may suggest the need for testing. Testing after significant flooding is recommended. Call (608) 266-4821 and ask for the lab.

For further recommendations about water testing:

How Do I Get My Water Tested?

Water testing is available through the Public Health Madison & Dane County Laboratory.

  • Call (608) 243-0357 to discuss your testing needs and how to get a water test kit.
  • The test kit can be picked up at our Laboratory office, our Environmental Health office, or arrangements can be made to have it mailed to you.


  • Public Health Laboratory Office:
    8 am - 4 pm, Monday through Friday
    City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Room 516B, Madison (Downtown)
    (If no one is available in Room 516B, please go to Room 507.)
  • Environmental Health Office:
    Call (608) 243-0357 for pick up arrangements.

Please note: Hours vary around holidays; before picking up call (608) 243-0357.

For additional information and pricing:

For information about drinking water quality data in Dane County.

Key Contacts
Concerns: (608) 266-4821

Testing Arrangements: (608) 243-0357
Unsafe Drinking Water