Private well water should be tested at least once a year for the presence of bacteria. It should also be tested when any of the following conditions exist:
- someone in the household becomes pregnant,
- there is a change in water smell, taste, or color,
- new parts are added to the system, like a new pump, new pipes, or a water softener,
- the well runs dry, and then water comes back,
- a water treatment system is added to fix a problem,
- someone in the household has an unexplained gastrointestinal illness that may be accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea, or
- the well casing is underwater due to flooding.
You can collect a sterile water sample yourself for a non-official test. If you need an official sample, such as for the sale of a home, contact our environmental staff to collect a sterile sample for you.
Water test kits are available for pick-up during regular business hours. The samples should be collected the same day that you bring them back to the health department. Samples need to be at the health department by 11:00 am, Monday-Thursday. Water samples are not picked up on Friday.
Water samples are processed at the Department of Health and Senior Services laboratory in Jefferson City. The fee is $10.00.