Well Water Testing
Private wells supply water to many households in the county. Sampling for safety and health of this water falls solely on the home owner or tenants shoulders. Your well could be adversely affected by the geologic formations in the county that yield acidic water, and water containing excessive levels of constituents such as fluoride, copper, radionuclides, or arsenic. It could also be impacted by fire, power outages, equipment failure from fire damage, or contamination from sewer systems due to loss of water pressure in water distribution systems. Be prepared, and have plenty of bottled water available for drinking and cooking. It is important to have your well tested on an annual basis.
Why should I test my well water?
- While most private wells provide a clean, safe supply of water, contaminants can pollute private wells. Because you can't see, smell or taste most contaminants, you should test your water on a regular basis. The types of land uses near your well determine which tests you need to have performed on your water supply. The test results allow you to properly address the specific problems of a water supply.
When should I test my well water?
- A coliform test should be performed annually
- If there’s farming or livestock ranching nearby, nitrates can be found in areas where fertilizers have been applied or livestock waste is found.
- If children are drinking the water on a regular basis, fluoride levels should be between 1 and 2 milligrams per liter (mg/l). Fluoride levels of less than 1 mg/l may prevent the proper development of teeth, and supplements may be needed. Fluoride levels greater than 4 mg/l can lead to a pitting and staining of the teeth caused by fluorosis.
- If the bathroom fixtures are stained by the water, check for the following metals:
- Blue or green stains indicate the presence of copper.
- Red or rust-colored stains indicate iron is present.
- Black stains indicate the presence of manganese or zinc.
- Uranium is naturally occurring in granite formations, which are found throughout Colorado, especially in the foothills. It can be found dissolved in the water of wells in these areas.
How do I test my well?
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) manages well water testing. Follow the steps below.
1. Go to CDPHE's Homeowner Water Testing page.
2. Complete their water testing bottle form. Supplies are free of charge and arrive via FedEx. Alternatively, you can pick up sample bottles for coliform in the County Community Development Department located at the lower level, west end, of the County administration building in Hot Sulphur Springs.
3. Choose Water Testing Package. If you've never had your well tested before, we recommend the "General Colorado Package" which tests for the eight most common problems associated with Colorado groundwater. The "Deluxe Package" is more expensive but provides more information.
4. Payment for water testing is due at the time of water sample submission via drop off or mail.
For more detailed instructions please click here.
Permits for wells in Grand County are obtained through the Colorado Department of Natural Resources in Denver. For more information review the Beginner's Guide to Well Permits or visit the DNR's website.
A lender may require that a well be inspected for the purposes of real estate transaction. These inspections include testing of the water for coliform bacteria and nitrates as well as a visual inspection of the well head and surrounding area.
For more information on private wells check out the following links: