If You Can Visually Detect Problems With Well Water…

  • Scale or ‘scum line’ from too many from calcium or magnesium salts in water. total hardness test kit
  • Unclear, murky or turbid water caused by suspended solids such as dirt, clay salts, silt or rust in water. tds test kit | tds meter
  • Green stains forming on sinks or faucets as a result of high acidity. pH test kit
  • Brown-red stains forming on sinks and fixtures, in the dishwasher, or on washed clothes may indicate the presence of dissolved iron in water. total iron test kit
  • Initially cloudy water that clears up completely if allowed to sit undisturbed for a few minutes may have had fine/small air bubbles injected in it by a poorly working pump or because of a problem with filters.

If an Unusual or New Taste is Detected in Well Water…

  • A salty or brackish taste in the water typically results from a high sodium content. chloride test kit
  • Presence of an alkali/soapy taste may come from dissolved alkaline minerals in water.
  • Acidity or a high iron content may result in a metallic taste. pH test kit | total iron test kit
  • Chemical tastes are known to come from industrial chemicals or pesticides. pesticides test kit

If an Unusual or New Odor is Detected in Well Water…

  • A rotten egg odor may be the result of dissolved hydrogen sulfide gas or certain types of bacteria in your water. Note, though, that if you only notice the smell coming from hot water, it is more than likely coming from a part in your hot water heater. hydrogen sulfide test kit
  • You may notice a detergent odor and/or foaming water of seepage from septic tanks has gotten into your well.
  • A gasoline or oil smell indicates (obviously) that some form of fuel oil or gasoline has found its way from a tank into the water supply.
  • Decaying organic matter can result in a methane gas or musty/earthy smell coming from the water.
  • Excessive chlorination of a well, or not waiting long enough after shocking a well with chlorine (obviously) results in a chlorine smell coming from the water. free chlorine test kit | total chlorine test kit

As always, if you suspect that your well has gotten contaminated in any way, always consult with a trained water professional. Do-it-yourself home water test kits like Well Water Check, COMPLETE Water Test Kit and the Drinking Water Test Kit serve as excellent screening tools but they do NOT have the same amount of accuracy as the results you can get from a certified water testing laboratory. It’s your well, your water, and ultimately — your life.

UPDATE: A new meter called the “eXact Micro 7+” came out at the beginning of 2009 and boasts the abilty to test for more than 25 different water quality parameters — which include Total Alkalinity, Bromine, Calcium Hardness, Free Chlorine, Total Chlorine, Copper, Ozone, Permanganate, pH, Ammonia, Chloride/Salt, Chlorine Dioxide, Chromium Hexavalent, Cyanuric Acid, Iodine, Iron, Low Range Total Hardness, Manganese, Nitrate, Nitrite, Acid pH, Alkali pH, Potassium, Sulfate, Sulfide, and Turbidity. Click here for additional information on this new, highly practical water quality testing meter called the eXact Micro 7+.

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