If you have a well how do you get the water tested?

(16 Posts)
queenrollo Tue 10-Nov-15 16:23:41

We have a well in our back garden. So far we've only used it for watering the garden as we have no idea of the quality of the water for any other use.
Does anybody have any links or suggestions for how we can get the water tested to see what the quality is?

OP’s posts: |
cozietoesie Tue 10-Nov-15 17:12:59

I think it's a private endeavour, queen - and one for which you'll almost certainly be charged. (I don't know what the likely fees are, I'm afraid, and it may very well depend on who is doing it for you.) There's a little snippet about it here.

When I was knee high, we stayed with a great aunt who would only use her well water for drinking. (She had 'plumbed in stuff' but avoided it for physical consumption.) We had to stamp on the flagstone over the well to scare off the frogs before lowering the bucket in. grin

I'd be reluctant to drink it nowadays, though, even though she lived in the deep country. People can play very fast and loose with disposal of certain substances which are pretty toxic. (I've known agricultural chemicals, battery contents, oil, Goodness knows what dumped on the moors for example because - well, they're big and besides who is ever going to find out?) The water table is someone else's problem, usually.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 10-Nov-15 17:17:28

There you go OP - £20 www.amazon.co.uk/Watersafe-All-In-One-Water-Test-Tests/dp/B00028PDO8

There seems to be loads of kits online - don't know how good they are though. I guess it depends if you really intend to use your well - I'd imagine professional testing would be substantially more expensive.

cozietoesie Tue 10-Nov-15 17:26:19

I'd guess so - and there's also the question of timing. (ie you can't tell from day to day what someone may have dumped or what may have died 'up-table' from you.) I have a vague memory that water companies have to test on a continuous basis to ensure that things are OK.

If you need to drink it that would be a different matter but unless that were the case, I think I'd stick with the mains. (Although I'd check regularly that the well still functioned.)

Sadik Tue 10-Nov-15 17:29:35

When I lived on a communal farm, we used to get ours tested by the council yearly, for a small charge though I think that may have been because we offered camping to the public. Worth asking your council perhaps?

Looking at the council info sheet I think we just paid £25 for analysis, sure I would have remembered if they also charged £100 to come and get it! Mind you even £125 wouldn't be that bad as a one off I guess if you then were happy to drink the water.

Molecule Tue 10-Nov-15 17:42:05

When I was a child we had spring water, pumped up from a field into a water tower, and then into the house.

It started to taste of mushrooms, and this continued for some weeks. Finally my father asked the (then) water board to test it. The results were that it was some of the purest, cleanest water they'd tested, and they would be delighted if they could get their own water as clean.

But it still tasted of mushrooms. Eventually my father donned his trunks, climbed the tower and got into the tank, to find a drowned starling. My mother still isn't convinced about tap water.

Hamishandthefoxes Tue 10-Nov-15 19:24:24

We don't, we use it on the garden but have a stash of water purification tablets and a solid fuel stove so would boil it to buggery and then iodine it. Anything surviving that deserves to succeed.

IAmcuriousyellow Tue 10-Nov-15 19:26:38

We have our borehole water tested yearly by a lab in our nearest city, costs £120 as I recall

queenrollo Tue 10-Nov-15 19:40:12

Thanks for the replies smile
I was expecting it to be something we would have to pay for and have done privately. We are in the middle of arable land and so my concerns really are the water table being full of chemical run off from that.
I suppose if we knew what we were dealing with we'd know if looking at purification was an option or just too much bother. That would be an absolute worst case scenario of course!
It is helpful to have it there for watering the garden, though so far we've avoided using it on anything we grow to eat. If it's not too full of nasties we can start using it for that too. It's been there a long time, our property is over a hundred years old and it's mentioned in paperwork we have.

OP’s posts: |
Atomik Tue 10-Nov-15 21:04:12

The health authority tested ours after a neighbour did his best to cause a national health concern by flogging his to gullible people.

After the test results were published I don't even use it for watering the garden anymore. It is pesticide soup.

cozietoesie Tue 10-Nov-15 21:13:53

queen's might be fine though - you just can't tell. (If you have a load of eg organic or traditional dairy round you, you might be lucky. smile) I think she had it right in getting one test at least.

queenrollo Tue 10-Nov-15 21:34:19

i'm friendly with the farmer who has said he's practically being pushed towards organic methods as the chemicals just aren't doing what they're supposed to any longer!

OP’s posts: |
cozietoesie Tue 10-Nov-15 23:44:17

And there's a thought.

Poor guy, though. If he's thinking of going over to organic, he's coming up to the most difficult time. Farming is hard hard going anyway but going over to organic with extra work and without adequate premiums for produce in the transition period can be soul destroying. I have a feeling that there might even be more people leaving organic farming at the moment than moving into it. (For various reasons.)

PigletJohn Wed 11-Nov-15 17:03:59

I used to live in a cottage with a pumped well supply, with a filter and an electric UV sterilising cylinder.

IIRC the water co tested it periodically for potability. I don't recall a charge, but remember this was a house with no piped water.

You can get carbon filters that are supposed to remove traces of pesticides and dead sheep as used on kitchen drinking water squirters, they cost a few pounds and might last a month or two.

cozietoesie Wed 11-Nov-15 17:29:37

I suspect it might, these days, have been covered by the new regulations PJ. The authorities might well stand on their dignity (and the regulations) if asked about this one.

(Maybe queen has some good local relatinships though.)

winchester1 Thu 12-Nov-15 21:08:11

We just drink it, although not that often to be fair (fortnightly maybe).

No one ill or dead, but I don't think its a recognised testing method!

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