October 17, 2012

Potability Testing

Potability Testing ensures the safety of the homes well water supply. The testing includes checking for coliform bacteria and ecoli, nitrates, and arsenic.

Choliform Bacteria and Ecoli

The presence of either of these groups of bacteria would indicate a contamination of the water supply. Coliform bacteria usually indicates a contamination of the water supply from the surface or surface water. Ecoli would indicate contamination of the water source from sewage.


A positive nitrate test would indicate a contamination from fertilizers or other contaminants.


Arsenic is a naturally occurring mineral found in Oregon. The EPA has established guidelines for the levels of arsenic found in drinking water. If the levels are too high it would be toxic to drink.

These Tests are performed by sanitizing a point in the plumbing system, drawing a water sample, and delivering the sample to a state certified testing laboratory. These tests can take up to ten business days for results. Typically, these tests are performed during a real estate transaction but are also recommended yearly as a part of routine maintenance for private water wells.

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