Well Water Testing Rebate
Status: The Well Water Testing Rebate will be open and accepting applications until Nov. 30, 2023. The rebate will be closed from Dec. 1, 2023 until it reopens on Jan. 15, 2024.
Property owners with private domestic wells are responsible for the quality of their drinking water supply. By regularly testing your water, you can ensure your well water is safe to consume and that it is not a conduit for contamination to the shared groundwater supply.
This incentive program rebates 50 percent off (up to $250) well water quality tests to applicants that meet the eligibility requirements.
- 2023 Well Water Testing Rebate Program Details
- 2023 Well Water Testing Rebate Pre-approval Application
- Water quality parameters included in test packages
Who can apply
This rebate program is available to all residential property owners with a private domestic well in the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN), including electoral areas A, B, C, E, F, G, H, and member municipalities Nanaimo, Lantzville, Parksville, Qualicum Beach.
- Must be a residential land owner with a private domestic well servicing only a single-family dwelling within the RDN.
- Well water test must be a full spectrum (chemical and biological) analysis completed by a provincially approved lab on Vancouver Island, e.g. Bureau Veritas Labs or MB Labs.
- The well water test must include Total Coliform and Escherichia coli (E. coli), pH, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Hardness, Nitrate, Nitrite, Sulphate, Fluoride, Chloride, and 30 element metals scan.
- RDN-issued voucher must be submitted to the lab with your well water sample.
- Each private domestic well is eligible for one rebate every five years. All subsequent rebates are subject to sharing results with the RDN.
- Water purveyors and commercial properties are not eligible. Rebate cannot be applied to courier fees.
In the region, approximately 42% of residents depend on groundwater for drinking water; many of these residents have their own private well that they manage. Improperly constructed or poorly maintained wells can act as a direct pathway for surface contaminants such as manure, petroleum products, and fertilizers to enter the groundwater. To assist residents in maintaining and improving groundwater quality in rural areas, the RDN incentives sampling of private domestic wells through the Well Water Testing Rebate (rebate).
Island Health recommends bacteria testing one to three times a year. Ideally, tests are performed during high rains when surface water could more readily contaminate groundwater, whenever major work is completed on main plumbing lines, the well pump or wellhead; or whenever someone with decreased immune functions will be consuming your well water (e.g., elderly, young children, auto-immune disorder, etc.). Full chemical analysis is recommended every three to five years, or if you notice a change in your water quality.
- Pre-approval process
- Private well owners must apply for approval.
- Applications are processed between Jan. 15 and Dec. 15.
- Allow four weeks for processing.
- If approved, RDN-issued vouchers are valid for 30 days.
- Submit your RDN-issued voucher to the laboratory with your well water sample to receive the 50 per cent off rebate.
- If five years have passed since the private domestic well on your property has received a rebate, well owners can apply for a subsequent rebate.
- All subsequent rebates are subject to sharing results with the RDN.
- A limited number of rebates for well water testing are available; funds are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
- How the rebate works
Step 1: Submit the pre-approval application
Complete the rebate pre-approval application form and send it electronically to watermonitoring [at] rdn.bc.catarget="_blank", or by mail or in person to Drinking Water & Watershed Protection, Regional District of Nanaimo, 6300 Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo, B.C., V9T 6N2.
Step 2: Prepare
- Pick up water sample bottles. Obtain a clean cooler and ice pack to transport your water sample.
- Review the well water sampling procedure and plan for how you will get your sample to the lab.
- Attend a free webinar or learn more about how to maintain and care for your well, rdn.bc.ca/wellsmart.
Step 3: Taking a water sample
Fill out the labs chain of custody or requisition form, write on your sample bottles the date, time, address, your name, and RDN Rebate. Follow the proper sample collection procedures. Sample can be taken by well owner or professional.
Step 4: Receiving your rebate
Pre-approved applicants will receive an RDN-issued rebate voucher for 50 per cent off of an eligible water quality test package that includes all the parameters listed on the voucher. Upon receiving the RDN-issued voucher, the applicant will have 30 days to submit the voucher with their well water sample to a provincially approved lab. If your voucher has expired, contact the RDN to request an extension.
Once the lab receives your RDN voucher and water sample, 50 per cent off (up to $250) will be taken off your lab invoice.
- Where to get bottles and take your sample
Pick up sample bottles Take your sample ABC Water Systems, 9-2180 South Wellington Road, Nanaimo
No Andrew Sheret, 2545 McCullough Road, Nanaimo
No Andrew Sheret, 1137 Smithers Road, Parksville
No Arbutus Home Building Centre, 785 Ross Way, Gabriola Island
No Bureau Veritas Laboratories (BV Labs), 2775 B Moray Avenue, Courtenay
Yes, Service Centre for one of two provincially approved labs on Vancouver Island, drop off samples at Courtenay office, a drop off location, or arrange a courier
Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., bvlabs.tfdev.ca, customersolutionswest [at] bureauveritas.comrel=" noopener" target="_blank"
Coastal Water Store, 6359 B2 Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo
No Iritex Pumps and Irrigation, 976 Price Road, Parksville
No MB Labs, 2062 West Henry Avenue, Sidney
Yes, one of two provincially approved labs on Vancouver Island, drop off samples at Sidney office, a drop off location, or arrange a courier
Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., mblabs.com
Red Williams Well Drilling, 1125 Smithers Road, Parksville
Yes, drop off in person between 8:30 - 10 a.m., Monday through Friday. Sample will be sent to B.V. Labs, redwilliams.ca RDN office, 2nd Floor, 6300 Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo
- Well water sampling procedure
Taking a water sample
- Sample can be taken by homeowner or professional.
- Only sterilized, unused bottles can be used.
- Fill out the labs chain of custody or requisition form that comes with the bottles.
- Write on your sample bottles your name, date, time, address, and RDN Rebate.
- Follow the proper sample collection procedures.
Summary sample procedure
- Confirm hours and days samples are accepted with lab/courier.
- Wash hands well and take care not to contaminate your sample.
- Take the sample directly from the tap, if possible, remove the aerator.
- Disinfect tap. Run cold water at full force for 2 – 5 min.
- Fill the bottle to the fill line or bottom of the neck. Secure lid.
- Place the sample in a clean cooler with ice, lab requisition form, and RDN-issued voucher.
- Take directly to lab/courier. Samples need to be received by the lab within 24 hours.
Additional details at rdn.bc.ca/water-quality-testing
- Your results
By consenting to share your water quality test results with the RDN, you help to enhance the understanding of groundwater quality in our region. On the voucher, there are two opportunities (check boxes) for sharing your water quality test results.
The first is to share your results with the RDN, allowing Drinking Water & Watershed Protection (DWWP) program staff to view your water quality results. The benefits are increasing the knowledge base of regional decision makers, supporting water quality trend analysis, and staff can offer support in interpreting your lab results. Any reporting on results will be anonymous and regional in scale. All subsequent rebates will automatically share well water quality data with the RDN.
The second is to also share your results with the Province of BC for groundwater research. Your personal information will not be shared, only the water quality test results and regional location.
Interpreting your results
Using a third-party accredited and provincially approved laboratory allows homeowners to confidently compare their well water test results to the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines.
The Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines lay out which parameters have aesthetic objectives (taste, smell, and odour) and/or maximum allowable concentrations for health implications. These guidelines also indicate which parameters can impact water quality treatment systems.
- Where can I find my well ID number
Each well can have up to two identification numbers with the province. All groundwater wells drilled after the Water Sustainability Act (2016) came into effect will have both identification numbers assigned: the well plate ID and a well tag number. The plate ID is a metal plate the well driller attaches to the wellhead when the well is drilled or upgraded. A well tag number is assigned when the province processes the drillers log submitted by the well driller and uploads the well record to the provincial Groundwater Wells Database.
If your well does not have a provincial plate ID or your well is not listed on the groundwater wells database, click here to learn more about well registration.
- Provincially approved labs
For the rebate voucher to be honoured, samples must be taken to a provincially approved lab.
Under the Environmental Management Act (2003) regulation, an approved laboratory means a laboratory registered with the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) as participating in the Association’s Inter-laboratory Comparison Program. CALA maintains a Directory of Accredited Laboratories (directory) which based on the Associations’ Inter-laboratory Comparison Program’s proficiency testing, are competent to perform specified chemical analyses. The directory is essentially a subset of the larger CALA Directory, comprised primarily of CALA accredited laboratories located in British Columbia and Alberta.
On Vancouver Island, there are two provincially approved labs: Bureau Veritas Laboratories (B.V. Labs) and MB Labs.For a full list of accredited labs in British Columbia, visit nrs.gov.bc.ca/qualified-labs.
- Useful Links
- BC Environmental Management Act (2003)
- BC Registry Search for a Qualified Well Driller or Well Pump Installer
- BC Water Sustainability Act (2016)
- Bureau Veritas Labs (Courtenay)
- Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines
- Directory of Accredited Laboratories
- Drinking Water resources and concerns (Island Health)
- Groundwater Protection and Sustainability (BC Ministry of Environment)
- Groundwater Protection Regulation Handbook (BC Ground Water Association)
- Groundwater Wells Database
- Information for Property Owners (BC Ministry of Environment)
- MB Labs (Sidney)
- Provincial Groundwater Wells Database (BC Ministry of Environment)
- Well Registration Form (BC Ministry of Environment)
- Wellhead Upgrades Rebate (RDN)
- Wellsmart Education Program (RDN)
Visit Wellhead Upgrades and Well Water Testing Frequently Asked Question's
For additional inquiries, call 250-390-6560 or email watermonitoring [at] rdn.bc.catarget="_blank"
The vision of the RDN's Drinking Water & Watershed Protection program is for healthy, safe, and resilient water resources in the region. Learn more at dwwp.ca