Water Quality Testing
Testing Your Water
Private well owners have the responsibility to test their well water on a regular basis. Island Health recommends testing your well water every 6 months for bacteria, every 3 to 5 years for chemical parameters, and after work is completed on your well or distribution system. A sterile bottle from the lab must be used to collect a sample. Samples need to be received by the lab within 24 hours, ideally the same day they are taken.
How to take a Water Sample
- Contact lab to confirm hours and days samples are accepted
- Use sterile bottle from lab (see Where to get bottles and take your sample)
- Select sample e location, e.g. kitchen faucet (drinking source), outside tap (no hose), pumphouse tap, etc.
- Label bottle with name, date, and time sample was collected
- Obtain sample:
- Wash hands
- Remove aerator and other attachments
- Disinfect tap & run cold water for 2 to 5 minutes
- Remove bottle cap and DO NOT let anything contaminate the inside of the lid
- Fill bottle and secure cap
- Keep water sample cool (on ice or refrigerated) between the time it's taken and delivered to the lab
- Deliver the samples to the lab within 24 hours
Other useful links:
- Island Health Well Water Testing
- Test Your Water Video (example of water sample collection method from Ontario Public Health)
There are nine RDN water service areas, these service areas supply water to residents. To ensure a safe supply, water quality is tested on a regular basis. Please see our water quality tests page for more details.
Small water systems (such as campgrounds, trailer parks or restaurants that have their own water supply that they provide to others) are regulated by Island Health to test for drinking water quality parameters. Information for managers of small water systems can be found on our Water Purveyor Working Group webpage.
If you have questions about the well water sample collection procedure, call 250-390-6560 or email watermonitoring [at] rdn.bc.ca.