Well and Public Water Testing

Credit: Jim Lukach

Individuals with private wells are solely responsible for having their water tested for contaminants. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that homeowners have their water tested annually.

Although providers of public water are required to do extensive tests on the water that they supply, sometimes issues arise between the water main and the tap. Most often, these issues are due to lead or copper piping inside the individual’s home. If your home was built before 1986, or if you suspect that you have lead pipes or fixtures, you may want to test your water.

To help make frequent water testing more obtainable, GSWA began a discounted-rate well water testing program in 2014, and expanded it to include public water in 2016.

In exchange for discounted rates, homeowners agree to let GSWA analyze the outcomes of their tests and create a database of results, increasing the organization’s understanding of groundwater quality in our region.

Private Well Testing: The test measures several water quality parameters, including total coliform + E. coli, nitrates, manganese, iron, arsenic, copper and lead. The cost for the basic, multi-parameter test is $125 (this test would normally cost over $300). Test add-ons, including pesticides, herbicides, volatile organic compounds, mercury, hardness, and sodium, may be purchased for an additional charge. This test cannot be used to satisfy the requirements of a real estate transaction.

Public Water Testing: Residents who are concerned with the presence of lead or copper in their pipes can opt to test their water. The lead test costs $30 and the copper is an additional $20.


GSWA offers discounted well and public water testing each spring. If you’re interested in being placed on the 2018 water testing program alert email list, please contact Kelly Martin at kmartin@greatswamp.org, or 973-538-3500.