UW-Extension recommends that well owners sample their well at least once per year, at a different time of the year.
Below are descriptions of the sampling process for the two public labs we work with most often.
To sample your well water for bacteria or nitrates:
- Pick up sampling bottles at the Fond du Lac County Health Dept. (160 S. Macy, Fond du Lac; 3rd Floor)
- Pay the fee: Nitrates ($19) & Bacteria ($21).
- Follow the directions included with your bottle.
- Return the samples to the lab as soon as possible on the SAME DAY (Monday – Wednesday, 8am -4pm)
- Wait for the results which will be explained to you.
- Contact Diana at UW-Extension (920.929.3173), Wendy in Code Enforcement (920.929.3139) or Gloria at the Health Dept. (920.929.3085) for more information on sampling, well maintenance, and water treatment
Sample Your Water for Other Contaminants Using the UW-Extension lab in Stevens Point:
- Decide which of the packages you would like:
Homeowner’s Package, $49 – Tests for Coliform bacteria, Nitrate, Chloride, pH, Alkalinity, Conductivity, Hardness, & Saturation index. This package will catch the most commonly occurring contaminants in the area and give a basic idea of how safe the water is.
Metals Package, $45 – Tests for Arsenic, Lead, Copper, Zinc, Manganese, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Sulfate, Sodium, Potassium. Arsenic is a naturally-occurring carcinogen. Owners should sample for arsenic at least once in the lifetime of the well.
Triazine Screen, $27 – Tests for components of Atrazine, a commonly used corn herbicide.
- Contact the lab to have bottles mailed to you.
- Take the samples on a Monday, following the instruction sheet included.
- Mail the samples from the Post Office on Monday. No need for Priority or Overnight Mail. Include payment.
- Your results will be mailed to you.
- Contact Diana at UW-Extension (920.929.3173) or Kevin Masarik at the lab (715. 346.4276) with questions on interpreting the results.
Watch a 3-minute video from WDNR on how to take a well water sample.