As a special treat for the lucky residents of McHenry County in Illinois, and in honor of Safe Drinking Water Month, the McHenry County Department of Health has decided to offer coliform bacteria and nitrate testing for the reduced rate of $18.
While not the be all, end all signs of well and ground water contamination, the presence of either certainly warrants immediate action and, in our opinion, the performance of more thorough testing by a certified drinking water testing laboratory.
Testing wells regularly is the only way to determine whether well water is safe to drink; many contaminants are colorless and odorless. Water from a public or municipal water system is regularly tested for contaminants regulated by federal and state standards. ( source )
For those not living in McHenry County, we suggest contacting your local health department to see what sort of free or reduced water testing programs they have available. Many times programs of that nature go under advertised (or not advertised at all).
If no options exist that way, do not simply do nothing… it’s you water, your health… and ultimately your life!
Inexpensive screening methods exist that will allow you to quickly and economically perform basic water tests on your own that will let you know whether or not you should spend the money required for more laboratory testing.
While at-home drinking and well water test kits work as great screening tools, one should not rely on them to fully diagnose every possible water contamination problem.