Wake County encourages all private well users to have their water tested regularly to ensure that it is safe for drinking. Wake County Environmental Services is pleased to offer private well users a wide range of drinking water testing services to help them ensure their water is safe.

To schedule your well tests, or if you have questions about which tests you need, call Wake County Environmental Services at 919-856-7400.

What tests should I have?

What if testing finds a problem?

My water tastes, smells, and looks fine!

I already had my water tested.

My water tastes, smells, or looks bad.

I’d like to find test results for my well.

Complete list of prices for all well testing options

Can I collect my own water samples?


What tests should I have?

If you have never had your well water tested, or it has been more than five years since your last test, Wake County recommends the “First-Timer’s Package,” which includes testing for Coliform Bacteria, Inorganics, Volatile Organic Compounds, and Pesticides. The total cost of this package is $175 (plus trip fee).

In addition, if you live in eastern Wake County, or if you have had problems with Radon in your indoor air, Wake County also recommends the "Rads Package," which includes testing for Gross Alpha & Gross Beta radioactivity and Radon and a free test kit for Radon in indoor air. The cost of this package is $100 (plus trip fee)

You can also have your well tested for specific groups of contaminants, and you can collect your own samples for some tests. This table lists prices and recommendations for common individual well water tests. 

Discounted well testing fees are available for lower-income residents. Ask for more information when you call to schedule your tests.

What if testing finds a problem?

While discovering a problem in your drinking water can be scary, the good news is that nearly all well water problems can be fixed. Fixing the problem could mean disinfecting the well, repairing the well, installing a filter to remove contaminants, or another solution. After you get your test results, Wake County Environmental Services will work with you to help you understand your options and will help connect you to resources to address the problem.

My well water tastes, smells, and looks fine!

While tastes, odors, discoloration, or cloudiness are obvious signs of problems with your water, water that is perfectly clear and tastes fine can still have unhealthy levels of contamination. Testing by a certified laboratory is the only reliable way to be sure you have safe drinking water.

I already had my well water tested.

Do you know what it was tested for? Was it tested by a certified drinking water laboratory? There are many free test kits available at home improvement stores or from water treatment companies. Most of these test kits do not check for chemicals that affect your health and only test for acidity or hardness. Without a complete test by a certified laboratory, you may be drinking water with contaminants that you cannot see, taste, or smell. Wake County can advise you about specific types of contaminants that you should test for, and can help you understand your test results. If Wake County already tested your well, you can look up test results here.

My well water tastes, smells, or looks bad.

Tastes, odors, discoloration, or cloudiness all indicate problems with the groundwater or the well itself. If you are having any of these problems, now is a perfect time to find out exactly what is in your water by getting complete testing before you spend a lot of money on fixing your well or installing a water treatment system. A complete water test will help you get the most out of the money you invest in your well or a water treatment system by ensuring that you have addressed all of the problems – visible and invisible – with your water.

I’d like to find test results for my well.

 

If a well has been tested by Wake County Environmental Services, the results should be available through the county’s Well Water Test Results app. Follow this link to look up test results by address or Parcel ID Number (PIN).


 
Test
Fee
Recommended Frequency and other notes

Water samples for these tests can be self-collected by citizens and submitted directly to the ES lab, or can be collected by Wake County staff. An additional $50 trip fee is charged if Wake County collects.

Microbiology
 
 

Coliform Bacteria

$25

 

Recommended annually for all well users.
The presence of fecal coliform indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal waste.

Inorganics

 
 

Full Inorganic Panel

$50

 

Recommended every two years for all well users.
Includes Alkalinity, Chloride, Fluoride, Hardness, Nitrate, Nitrite, pH, Arsenic, Barium, Cadmium, Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Lead, Magnesium, Manganese, Mercury, Selenium, Silver, Sodium and Zinc.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Water samples for these tests can only be collected by Wake County staff. An additional $50 trip fee is charged for collection. Only one trip fee is charged per sampling trip.

Organics

 

 

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

$50

 

Recommended every five years for all well users.
Tests for chemical compounds found in petroleum products or solvents, as well as a soil fumigant formerly used on some tobacco fields.

Pesticides

$50

 

Recommended every five years for all well users.
 

Herbicides

$50

 

Recommended if you have concerns about herbicides or wood treatment chemicals applied near your well.

Radiological

 
 

Gross Alpha & Beta Radiation

$50

 

Recommended for any well user in the radiological testing recommendation area and for any well user who has had problems with radon in indoor air.
Tests for overall levels of alpha particle radiation from uranium, radium 226 or radium 228 and beta particle radiation from other elements.

​Radon

(in water)

​$50
Recommended for any well user in the radiological testing recommendation area and for any well user who has had problems with radon in indoor air.

Radium 226 & 228

$175
If high levels of Gross Alpha radiation are found, these tests may help with choosing the appropriate method for treating the water.

Uranium

$40
 
Other tests

Water samples for these tests can be self-collected by citizens and submitted directly to the ES lab, or can be collected by Wake County staff. An additional $50 trip fee is charged if Wake County collects.

Single Inorganic  Analyte
$20
Ask for one of these tests if you just need to check levels of a single inorganic contaminant.
Nitrate/Nitrite
$25
Iron/Sediment
$20
Iron Bacteria
$50
Nuisance bacteria that can cause problems with well performance. Recommended only if your well shows signs of plugging or biofouling
Sulfur Bacteria
$50
Nuisance bacteria that can cause problems with water odor. Recommended only if your well water smells like rotten eggs
 

Can I collect my own water samples?

You can collect your own water samples for bacteria and inorganic tests, but water samples for most other tests must be collected by Wake County staff. If you would like to collect your own samples for bacteria or inorganics testing, you may do so by obtaining sample containers and instructions at the following locations:

Wake County Lab
10 Sunnybrook Road, Ground Floor, Room G-80, Raleigh
Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5:15 p.m.
Phone: 919-250-4441

Southern Regional Center
130 N. Judd Parkway NE, Fuquay-Varina
Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5:15 p.m.
Phone: 919-557-2501

Eastern Regional Center
1002 Dogwood Drive, Zebulon
Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5:15 p.m.
Phone: 919-404-3900

Northern Regional Center
350 E. Holding Ave., Wake Forest
Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5:15 p.m.
Phone: 919-562-6300

Waverly Akins Wake County Office Building
336 Fayetteville St., Raleigh
Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5:15 p.m.
Phone: 919-856-7400

Please return samples with payment to the Wake County Lab, located at 10 Sunnybrook Road in Raleigh. The lab accepts samples from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Thursday. The Lab does not accept bacteriological samples on Fridays or the day before a holiday.