Well Testing Information
In order to assist you and your family to maintain safe and healthy drinking water, The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) has developed a brochure, entitled "Private Water Well Testing in Louisiana - What You Need to Know to Protect Your Water". This brochure includes information on how to prevent the contamination of your private well, and the importance of getting your well inspected, tested for bacteria or chemicals that can cause disease, and disinfected after major hurricanes and floods.
Residents often have questions about how to sample their private well. You can get started by contacting your LDH parish health unit sanitarian, who can discuss any specific concerns you may have about your well. They often are familiar with local, certified companies that perform well inspections and maintenance and they can also provide bacteriological testing for a fee. The cost is generally $75 for sample collection and laboratory analysis. If the well owner wants to collect the sample themselves and transport it to the local sanitarians the general cost is $40 per sample. Contact the local sanitarians for sample bottles, forms, payment and drop off location information. Most parish sanitarians are located in the Parish Health Unit. The contact information for the Parish Health Units can be found at http://dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/394.
The next step is selecting a licensed well inspection professional by accessing the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources listing at http://sonlite.dnr.state.la.us/sundown/cart_prod/cart_con_wwwr_active_drillers. The National Groundwater Association also provides information on locating and selecting a well inspector and the questions you should ask www.wellowner.org. After you choose a well inspection professional, you can double check to make sure their license is current by calling the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Office of Conservation at (225)342-8244 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, a listing of LDH certified laboratories are available at http://dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/490. Once you have had your well water tested and receive the results, you can visit the Penn State University Well Water Interpretation Tool to understand what your results mean. Residents are also encouraged to call LDH with any additional questions toll free at 1-888-293-7020.
Annual well maintenance is essential to keep your water safe. Well owners are encouraged to follow the advice provided in the brochure to keep their well in functional condition for years to come.