Drinking Water Testing
Our laboratory is certified by the state to test drinking water. We offer water testing for homeowners, renters, and public water utilities.
When to Test Your Water
Recommendations for testing vary depending on;
- the source of your water (private well or municipal water),
- age of your home, and
- who lives in your household.
Private Well Owners
- You should test your water each year for bacteria and nitrate/nitrite. Test sooner if there has been flooding in the area or if you notice changes in taste, odor, or appearance of the water.
- It is very important to test for nitrate in households with pregnant people, infants, and young children. Nitrate can reduce the blood's ability to carry oxygen. In infants it can cause a serious condition called "blue baby syndrome."
- The age and type of plumbing may indicate a need for additional testing to check for lead and other metals. While lead is less of an issue in private wells, it can be found in some pumps or valves used in private wells.
- Tests for Drinking Water from Private Wells WI Dept. of Natural Resources
- If you're in an area near PFAS contamination, it's recommended that you test your well for PFAS.
Private Well Testing for PFAS
PFAS can affect your health. If you live in Dane County, we can test your well.
We offer free private well testing for PFAS for income-eligible households in Dane County, living outside the City of Madison (households in City of Madison are not eligible). Free testing is available while funding lasts, or through June 2024. We use guidelines under the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Program to determine income eligibility. You can print an application form and follow instructions for returning it to us. Once your application has been approved, someone will contact you to schedule an appointment.
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(from 2022 tax return)
Households who exceed the income limit, or are in the City of Madison are able to order sampling kits at the normal cost of $418. You can order a sampling kit by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need help understanding your test results, please contact us at email@example.com, even if you didn't get your well tested through us.
Municipal Water Customers
If you pay a water bill, you have water that comes from a municipal water utility. The water utility tests the water regularly and makes sure that you have safe drinking water. Most utilities in Dane County also test for PFAS. By the end of 2023, they will be required to do so. Contact your municipality for information.
- You can test for water quality problems that may come from your plumbing, like lead, copper, manganese or bacterial contamination.
- You should test for lead if:
- You have lead piping or solder
- The system that brings water to where you live has lead piping or solder
- You have galvanized steel pipes
- We can help figure out if you have lead pipes. Call us at (608) 242-6515. This website can also help you find out. Lead levels may vary widely throughout the home so don’t rely on just one good test.
- Water can look cloudy or discolored when water mains are flushed for cleaning and maintenance. The water should clear up after running for a few minutes. It does not usually mean testing is needed. If the water does not become clear, call your local water utility.
Other Water Testing
We test more than just drinking water. We can test area lakes, streams, and rivers for indicators of environmental conditions.