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Testing Services

Domestic Well Testing for Real Estate Transactions

JH Barlow Water Testing

When purchasing real estate that includes a domestic well, property owners should test the water for: Ph, Coliform bacteria, Nitrates, Hardness, Iron, Manganese, and Sodium. It is also recommended that the well water be tested for Radon and Lead.

This lab work gives you a good indication of the water quality and if any contamination exists. Hardness, Iron, and Manganese these mineral that are usually noticed as staining on house hold fixtures.

Why test?
Water is something that we take for granted!

Only when we don’t have it do we realize its true value. Every residence or farm depends on their water well to provide a steady, clean and safe supply of water to meet their daily needs. When buying a house you should have confidence in your existing well and water system. New wells are expensive; replacement costs for a well can range from $ 3,000.00 to $15,000.00 for a domestic well. Most lending institutions require that a well recovery test be performed to verify the recovery rate of the well.

Well Inspection and Report:

The Well Head, Well Pump, Control Box, Pressure Switch, Filters and all other components of the water system that are above ground will inspected to determine what condition they are in. A report summarizing all items inspected will be provided with suggestion and prices should any maintenance or work to bring the well up to state standards.

Common Contaminants Found in Residential Well Water

Well water can become contaminated without any change in the water's taste, smell or appearance. The following are common contaminants found in residential wells throughout the United States:

  • COLIFORM BACTERIA. A natural part of the microbiology of soils, insects, and warm blooded animals, coliform bacteria is the primary indicator for the presence of disease-causing organisms in water.
  • NITRATES. Elevated levels can be an indication of contamination by farm chemicals, lawn fertilizers, or septic saturation. Nitrates can pose a serious health risk to infants.
  • ARSENIC. This toxic element is found naturally in soil and bedrock, but occurs in particularly high levels in Northeast Wisconsin. Ingestion can lead to serious health problems.
  • LEAD. Houses built before 1985 may contain lead pipes or lead-based solder. Lead can cause serious health problems in young children.
  • FLUORIDE. Found naturally in water. While low levels of fluoride are desirable, excessive amounts may stain teeth.
  • SULFATES. High levels of sulfates can cause odors, leave spots, taste bitter and have a temporary laxative effect.
  • CHLORIDES. Small amounts of salt are natural. Higher levels are unnatural and may indicate a faulty water softener, road salt, septic waste or fertilizer contamination.

Common Questions About Well Water

Q. Is well water safe to drink?
Yes. Water from a private well can be just as safe, if not safer, than municipal water. However, regular testing is needed to ensure a continued supply of clean, safe water.

Q. How can I tell if my well water is safe?
While some contaminants will change the appearance or taste of the water, others cannot be seen, smelled, or even tasted. The only sure way to know is to have your water tested.

Q. Can I test my water at home?
While do-it-yourself test kits are available on the market, these tests are never as accurate as those performed by a state-certified lab. Safe water shouldn't be a guessing game. To know what's in your water for sure, utilize the services of J.H. Barlow.

Q. How often should I have my well tested?
Many state and federal authorities recommend having your water tested annually for coliform bacteria and nitrates. Other contaminants should be tested for at least once every five to ten years.

Q. How long will it take to get the results?
On an average it takes 1 to 2 weeks to receive the results of the water testing.

Q. How much will a water test cost me?
Costs vary depending on the number and type of tests you request. Call J.H. Barlow for pricing.


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