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Basics on Well Water Contaminant Testing, Part 1

Four generations of experience installing, maintaining and
repairing wells throughout Utah and Wyoming.
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When it comes to human drinking water from any source, a primary need before the water is consumed involves removing several possible contaminants. Water contaminants can also come from several sources, including both natural and man-made areas, and can lead to issues ranging from minor respiratory concerns all the way up to major health problems if they aren’t purified out of water before it’s consumed – or prevented from ever infiltrating the water source to begin with.

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, we’re proud to offer several testing services to assess the possible presence of contaminants in your well water, all as part of our well rehabilitation services. Even if you have not experienced any recent contamination issues in your water supply, yearly testing is vital to ensure everything remains in order and no contaminants can make their way in. During this two-part blog, we’ll dig into the general recommendations and rules for water well testing, plus look at several of the most common contaminants and compounds we’ll be testing for as we assess your system.

well water contaminant testing

Testing Requirements and Common Errors

While actual legal requirements will differ between states and even within individual cities and municipalities in some cases, most experts and disease control officers will tell you it’s best to have the well tested every year. Ideally, the spring period we’re in right now is the optimal range – it’s nestled in just after the long winter, one where the elements may have impacted areas of your well and altered their protective qualities, and also gets this out of the way before the hot summer arrives.

Unfortunately, many water well owners make the mistake of only testing their well water a single time: When they buy the home. Apart from yearly inspections, there are a few events that might necessitate a well water test:

  • Recent flooding or major water event in your area
  • When other well owners in your area have experienced contamination issues
  • Anytime you notice changes in taste, odor or color of your well water

From here, let’s begin looking at some of the common well water contaminants and the risks they pose.


One of the single most common contaminants in any water source, not just wells, is radon. This is a radioactive gas that’s dangerous in part due to how difficult it is to detect with natural senses – it cannot be smelled or tasted, and has no distinct color.

In many cases, radon is released when well water is used for drinking and washing. It can lead to significant respiratory issues, and is a known risk factor for lung cancer.


Arsenic is a chemical found in many minerals, known as a metalloid. It can lead to health issues ranging from cardiovascular disease to several forms of cancer.

For more on well water testing and the contaminants it helps prevent, or to learn about any of our well water services, speak to the staff at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.