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Water Testing

Private Wells Should Be Tested Annually

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that private wells be tested annually. Without testing, the water quality is unknown and the water could be contaminated with natural-occurring or other contaminants.

Health Impacts of Water Contaminants

There are a variety of bacteria, parasites, and viruses that can potentially cause health problems if humans ingest them. Testing water for each of these would be difficult and expensive. Instead, water testing for total coliform levels serves as an indicator of contamination.

Coliform bacteria can enter well water through a variety of ways, including sewage overflows, damaged or malfunctioning sewage systems, polluted stormwater runoff, and agricultural runoff. Private wells may become more vulnerable to such contamination after flooding or fires, particularly if the wells are shallow, have been dug or bored, or have been submerged by floodwater for long periods of time.

Water Testing Services

  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Laboratory provides standard bacteriological, chemical, oil, volatile compounds, and mining waste testing
  • Colorado State University Soil and Water Laboratory provides mineral and metals testing. Cost is dependent on testing requested.
  • Private Labs
    • Each of the private labs listed below provide bacterial testing. Contact them directly to find out about the testing available, costs, and procedures. Special containers or requirements may be required.
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      Lab Name Address City Phone               
      Aerobiology Laboratory Associates 780 Simms St. Golden 866-620-9348
      Analytica Environmental Labs 12189 Pennsylvania St. Thornton 303-469-8868
      Prevalent Analytical 4730 Table Mesa Dr #E-101 Boulder 720-432-6322
      CH Diagnostic & Consulting Service 512 Fifth St. Berthoud 970-532-2078
      Colorado Analytical Laboratory 240 S. Main St. Brighton 303-659-2313
      Colorado Analytical Laboratory 12860 W. Cedar Dr. Unit 101 Lakewood 303-659-2313
      CDPHE - Lowry Campus 8100 Lowry Blvd. Denver 303-692-3048
      Colorado State University 1250 East Dr. Fort Collins 970-491-4837
      Town of Estes Park 2455 Mary's Lake Rd. Estes Park 970-577-3624
      City of Fort Collins 4316 Laporte Ave. Fort Collins 970-221-6691
      GeoWater Services 4091 Evergreen Pkwy. Evergreen 303-670-3348
      Gilpin County Public Health 101 Norton Dr. Black Hawk 303-582-5803
      City of Golden 1445 Tenth St.. Golden 303-384-8181
      Industrial Laboratories 4046 Youngfield St. Wheat Ridge 303-287-9691
      Murray-Brown Laboratories, LLC. 4150 Jason St. Denver 303-296-0264
      City of Northglenn 2350 W. 112th Ave. Northglenn 303-450-4074
      Reservoirs Environmental, Inc. 5801 Logan St. Denver 303-964-1986
      Stewart Environmental 3801 Automation Way Suite #200 Fort Collins 970-226-5500
      Stewart Environmental 3801 Automation Way Suite #200 Fort Collins 970-226-5500
      Warren Analytical 650 O St. Greeley 970-475-0252
      Weld County 1555 N. 17th Ave. Greeley 970-304-6415

      Shock Chlorination

      Bacterial contamination of well water can come from many sources. The most common include repairing the pump or casing without follow-up chlorination, surface water entering pump or casing, poor construction of the well, or leaks in the well or well casing.

      Shock chlorination of a well may eliminate the bacterial contamination, but well rehabilitation may be necessary if contamination continues to occur (as in a rusted or leaking casing). If you plan to shock chlorinate your well yourself, follow instructions carefully to ensure bacteria is eliminated.

      Learn More

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