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Well Water Testing – Microbial Test Package

36.58 (44.99 Incl. Vat)

Well Water Testing for Bacteria

  • For accurate results, you need to get your water sample to the laboratory within six hours of having taken it.
  • If your private well or group scheme supplies more than 50 people or a commercial business (such as a creche, hotel, restaurant or care home) you are LEGALLY REQUIRED to have you water supply tested twice a year for microbial contamination.
  • Our microbial water analysis test package will tell if you water is contaminated by microorganisms (bugs), which can cause frequent stomach upsets, especially to children, the elderly, those with a weakened immune system or visitors to your home, who may not be used to drinking the water.

Well Water Testing for Bacteria

  • Drinking water contaminated with microbes can lead to acute infectious gastroenteritis. If a family member suffers from frequent stomach upsets, this could be a sign that they are drinking contaminated water.
  • Some householders become immune to low-levels of bacterial contamination. But the water may make visitors to their house ill, particularly children, the elderly, or those a weakened immune system. The HSE has produced a leaflet on the risks of illness from well water.
  • The EPA estimates that between 15% and 30% of household wells are contaminated with a bacterium (bug) known as Escherichia coli (usually shortened to E. coli).
  • This bug can enter your well or private water supply as a result of cattle grazing nearby, run-off from slurry being spread on nearby land or runoff from a nearby septic tank that has been badly sited or is in some way defective.

The rise of VTEC infection

Another concern relates to the rise of the so-called VTEC strain of E. coli (Verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli). These bacteria produce a powerful toxin, causing severe abdominal cramps and diarrhoea. Usually patients recover within 5 to 10 days. But, in up to 10% of cases, the infection causes a complication known as haemolytic uraemic syndrome (or HUS), which can lead to kidney damage. The elderly and children under 5 years of age are particularly at risk of HUS. Further information from the HSE on private water supplies and VTEC is available here.

How should I go about having my water tested?

If you get your drinking water from a well or other private supply, the only way to tell it is safe is by having it tested at certified laboratory. In Ireland, the certification you should look for is the ISO standard 17025, which is accredited by INAB – the Irish National Accreditation Board.

As already mentioned, it is recommended that you test your water supplies for microbial contamination once a year and for chemical contamination once every three years.

However, you should have your supplies tested sooner, if you suspect they may have become contaminated since your last test – for instance, if the colour or odour seems off – or if a member of the household starts to have frequent stomach upsets.

Best time for a water test

Bear in mind that a test can only tell you about the quality of the water at the time of testing. The risk of microbial contamination is generally highest following a period of heavy rain or flooding. Therefore, this is best time to have your water analysed. If you know it is clear at times of greatest risk, then you can be more confident your well is performing satisfactorily all year-round.

For accurate results, you need to get your water sample to the laboratory within six hours of having taken it, and you must use sterile sample bottles. We supply these free of charge to customers, and our order form explains how to take your sample without introducing contamination from external sources

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