Test Your Private Well for Safe Drinking Water

Oakland County Health Division reminds private well owners to test their drinking water regularly for contaminants to ensure that it is safe.

“I encourage every homeowner with a private drinking water well to test their water routinely”, said Kathy Forzley, health officer for Oakland County. “Homeowners with private wells may not be aware of the risks that can occur. Testing well water regularly is the only way to ensure safe drinking water.”

Test your Well Water

Test your Well Water

The Health Division recommends testing private wells for bacteria (total coliform), nitrate, and nitrite annually. Well testing is also recommended if:

  • There are known problems with well water in the area
  • There have been problems near the well (i.e., flooding, land disturbances, and nearby waste disposal sites)
  • Any part of the well system has been repaired or replaced
  • The well has a history of bacterial contamination
  • The septic system has recently malfunctioned
  • Family members or house guests have recurrent incidents of gastrointestinal illness
  • An infant is living in the home

Water sample bottles can be purchased at Health Division offices for detection of bacteria for $6 and partial chemical (i.e., nitrate, nitrite, chloride, fluoride, and sulfate) for $5.

Health Division offices are open 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. They are located at:

  • North Oakland Health Center, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, Pontiac
  • South Oakland Health Center, 27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield

Other tests or testing frequency may be recommended based on geographic location or specific drinking water concerns. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Drinking Water Lab has additional tests available, including arsenic and lead, to ensure private water supply safety. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/deq.

State Lab bottles for arsenic and lead are also available at Health Division Offices or by calling the State Lab at 517-335-8184. A list of local laboratories that test drinking water are also available at www.michigan.gov/documents/deq.

Call the Health Division Environmental Health Services at 248-858-1312 for more information. For up-to-date information, visit www.oakgov.com/health, and follow the Health Division on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter @publichealthOC.


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