Water Quality

Water Quality Frequently-Asked Questions

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Your water supply is either public (your house is connected by pipe to a public or municipal system) or private (you have a well from which you supply your own water). If your water comes from a public or municipal water system, your water is regularly tested for contaminants regulated by Federal and State standards.

If your drinking water comes from your own well, you alone are responsible for assuring that it is safe. For this reason, routine testing for a few common contaminants is highly recommended. If you have not tested your water in the past few years, it is a good idea to do so.

When purchasing a home it is a good idea to have a private water supply tested for pH, nitrate, nitrite, iron, manganese, copper, chloride, arsenic, hardness, total bacteria, e. coli bacteria, and other contaminants which may be present in the local area.

Wells should be checked periodically with a safety screen test consisting of total coliform, e. coli, pH, nitrate and nitrite analyses.

  • Because dug wells may develop leaks from frost heaving, they should have a screen test in fall and spring.
  • Drilled or driven wells should be tested every 2 years.
  • Conduct a safety screen test any time a change in appearance, color, odor or taste is noticed or if occupants are experiencing gastro-intestinal issues.
Municipal water supply systems test regularly for contaminants and monitor levels of unregulated chemicals. They will provide water quality reports upon request.

Private testing laboratories are listed in the Yellow Pages of the telephone book; make sure they are certified by your state health department.

The State of Maine Public Health Lab (221 State St. Station 12, Augusta, ME 04333; Tel. 207-287-1716)

Up-Country will draw samples of water and submit them to a State recognized lab for analysis. Standard Mortgage tests, FHA/HUD tests, and other special tests are available upon request.