Well Water Sampling Options

COVID-19 Update:

In keeping with the spirit of “Safer at Home”, the Water and Environmental Analysis Lab has implemented a limited sample acceptance policy. As the situation with COVID-19 is continually evolving, we ask that you contact the lab prior to submitting a water sample. Contact by phone or email: 715-346-3209 | Water.and.Environmental.Analysis.Lab@uwsp.edu

The UWSP campus is currently closed to the public.  No walk-in samples will be accepted at this time.

At this time accepted samples include:

  • Compliance monitoring
  • Licensure requirements
  • New well construction
  • Water testing for immediate health concerns (e.g., pregnancy in the home, retest for bacteria positive, high nitrate or arsenic in your region, lead plumbing concerns, etc.)
  • Water testing for previously scheduled real estate transactions
  • Water testing for clients in businesses deemed essential during Safer at Home
  • Previously contracted research projects

Please understand that this policy is to ensure our staff remain as safe as possible and to limit unnecessary travel by our clients. Once Safer at Home restrictions are lifted, we will return to our standard sample acceptance policies.

If your water testing needs are not immediate, you may still request a water test kit which we will mail to you at a later date. If you would like to speak to a staff member regarding your testing needs, please contact us.

UW-Extension recommends that well owners sample their well at least once per year, at a different time of the year.

You can test your water through the Fond du Lac County Health Department, the UW-Extension lab in Stevens Point, the State Lab of Hygiene or other private laboratories in the area.

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:

  1. Pick up sampling bottles at the Fond du Lac County Health Dept. (160 S. Macy, Fond du Lac; 3rd Floor)
  2. Pay the fee.
  3. Follow the directions included with your bottle.
  4. Return the samples to the lab as soon as possible on the SAME DAY  (Monday – Wednesday, 8am -4pm)
  5. Wait for the results which will be explained to you.
  6. 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 – 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 – 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 – 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.  Customers must OVERNIGHT their samples to if they cannot drop them off.  Include payment. Samples need to be received within 40 hours in order to test for bacteria. 
  • Your results will be mailed to you.
  • Contact Diana at Extension (920.929.3173) or Kevin Masarik at the lab (715. 346.4276) with questions on interpreting the results.

Watch videos from WDNR and Fond du Lac County on how to take a well water sample.

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