Private Well Water Testing

Private Well Water Collection Form

Private Well Water Collection Guidelines:

  • Do not rinse the sample bottles. It is sterile and contains a chemical additive.
  • Open the tap fully and allow the water to run for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Restrict the flow to allow the collection of the sample without splashing.
  • Fill the sample bottle to the “fill line” on the bottle.
  • Collect and ship the sample to ensure arrival at the laboratory within 30 hours of collection (Express or next-day). Mail samples on a Monday-Wednesday (excluding state and federal holidays). Samples that exceed holding time are not tested. Samples are not accepted on Fridays.
  • Enclose payment of $20.00. Testing will not be performed without payment. Please use exact change or write check.
  • Use the enclosed mailing label and add proper postage.
  • The report will be sent out by mail/email.

The following information is an explanation of your results:

Total Coliform, Colisure Negative

E coli, Colisure Negative

Interpretation: If you collected the sample according to directions supplied with the kit, you can be reasonably sure your water is safe for drinking and general domestic use.


Total Coliform, Colisure Positive*

E coli, Colisure Negative

Interpretation: While the total coliform is not normally disease causing, the presence of total coliform bacteria indicates a possible pathway for surface water, insects, soil or other pathogens to enter your water supply. As a precaution, we encourage you to avoid drinking and cooking with this water until the source can be identified/corrected, and a safe bacteria test obtained.


Total Coliform, Colisure Positive*

E coli, Colisure Positive*

Interpretation: Your sample tested positive for both E. coli and total coliform bacteria indicating your water is not safe for drinking. We strongly recommend that you not consume water from your well without boiling for five minutes, until you obtain a safe bacteria test.


*Chlorination of your well is recommended. Directions for disinfection are available on line at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/flood/home/cleaning-flooded-wells. More information on maintaining a safe well can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/privatewells

If you would like a sample kit to test the effectiveness of your treatment, please contact the lab. For questions regarding well disinfection and maintenance, please refer to the online resources above or a private well contractor.