Well Water Tests, Recommended Frequency, and Approximate Costs

TestFrequencyApproximate Costs, 2006 $
Annual testsAnnually30
    Total coliform bacteria
Common inorganic test battery25
    CopperEvery 3–5 y
FHA/VA loan for new well; additional 1-time tests10
    OdorEvery 3–5 y
    Lead (first draw) (1-time test free for FHA/VA loans)Every 10 y for homes built before 198515, stand-alone lead test
Additional "more thorough" 1-time tests25
Miscellaneous individual tests15 each
    Nitrate, chloride, hardness, copper, iron, pH, manganese, color, turbidity
    Fluoride, sodium, detergents, conductivity, total solids, ammonia nitrogen
    Arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, silver, selenium, uranium
Organic compound tests
    Volatile petroleum screen (gasoline, MTBE), in water60
    Volatile petroleum screen (gasoline, MTBE), in soil80
    Diesel organics and fuel oil140
    Volatile organics screen (especially solvents, degreasers)135
    Semivolatiles organic screen (including wood preservatives)200
    Semivolatiles organic screen plus chlordane, PCBs, and toxaphene275
    Chlorinated acids: herbicides screen200
    Carbamate pesticides125
Radiologic tests
    Radon in water25
    Radon in air20
    Radon in air (long-term) "α track"25
    Gross α (radioactivity in water; does not test for radon)Every 5–10 y55
    Gross β55
    Radium (if gross α > 5 pCi)195
    Radium 228 (only)150
  • FHA indicates Federal Housing Administration; VA, Veteran Affairs; MTBE, methyl tertiary butyl ether; PCB, polychlorinated biphenyl.