Water Testing for Private Wells

While most private wells in Wisconsin provide safe drinking water, some may contain substances that can affect our health. Many of these substances do not affect the color, smell, or taste of the water. The only way to make sure a well is safe for drinking is to test your well regularly.

2024 Groundwater Awareness Week

Prices

*Cash or check made to Iowa County Health Department accepted

Bacteria

$30.00

Nitrate

$35.00

Arsenic

$35.00

Lead

$35.00

*Prices may be subject to change. Updated September 2023.

Pick Up Test Kit

Pick up your well water test kit at the ICHD located at 303 West Chapel St, Dodgeville WI, Suite 2200 anytime Monday-Friday between 8:00-4:30 PM. A step-by-step guide will be provided in the package. Call 608-930-9870 or email healthinfo@iowacounty.org if you have questions or barriers to picking up a test kit.

Sample Collection

Once you are ready to collect the sample, ensure you can deliver it to the ICHD within 24 hours and follow the instructions on the back of the Water Test Request From provided (not following the instructions properly, can result in inaccurate results). Make sure to fill the bottles to the fill lines indicated on the bottles and form. Please return samples on ice to the Health Department within 24 hours of sample collection. 

Return Test Kit

Return your samples to the ICHD Monday-Thursday between 8:00-4:00 PM. *NO SAMPLES WILL BE ACCEPTED ON HOLIDAYS OR ON FRIDAYS AS THEY CANNOT BE ANALYZED OVER THE WEEKEND. 

Receive Results

You will receive results from ICHD staff. If results are abnormal, we will assist with next steps.

Staff will communicate the results of bacteria testing within 24-48 hours either by phone or email per your request as indicated on the form you leave with your sample.

Result time may vary for samples of nitrate, arsenic and lead as these samples are sent to UW-Oshkosh for analysis. 

Follow-up steps for bacteria: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p02132.pdf or Bacteriological Cont.indd (revize.com)

Follow-up steps for high nitrate: Nitrate in Private Well Water (wisconsin.gov) or Nitrate in Drinking Water (revize.com)

Follow-up for arsenic: Arsenic in Drinking Water DG062 2017 (wisconsin.gov) or Arsenic DG062 2012.indd (revize.com)

Follow-up for lead: Protect yourself and your family from lead in drinking water (wisconsin.gov) or Parents Look Out for Lead (revize.com)

Frequency of Testing

It is recommended that all wells used for drinking water test for bacteria and nitrate annually or when there is a change in appearance, odor, or taste. It is also recommended to test for arsenic and lead at least once every 5 years, more frequently if the well has a history of high arsenic and/or lead levels. 

The Iowa County Health Department is a DATCP Certified Water Testing Laboratory for Bacteria.

Resources:

Water Testing - UW Oshkosh ERIC University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

Tests for Drinking Water from Private Wells.pdf (revize.com)

WI Well Water Viewer - Center for Watershed Science and Education | UWSP