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Wake County encourages all private well users to have their water tested regularly to ensure that it is safe for drinking.

Through Feb. 29, 2020, Wake County is offering comprehensive well water testing at no cost to residents whose household income is less than 2.5 times the federal poverty guideline.
See if you meet the income guidelines.

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.

How do I get my well water tested?

Complete list of all tests offered by Wake County


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 testing for: 

  • Coliform Bacteria
  • Inorganics
  • Volatile Organic Compounds, and 
  • Pesticides.

In addition to these tests, if you live in certain parts of the county, Wake County recommends testing for radiological contaminants


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? Most free test kits do not check for chemicals that can affect your health. Without a complete test by a certified laboratory, you may be drinking water with contaminants that you cannot see, taste, or smell.

My well water tastes, smells, or looks bad.

If you are having any of these problems, now is a perfect time to find out exactly what is in your water. 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.

How do I get my well tested?

To schedule your well tests, visit the Wake County Permit Portal.
Read instructions here for requesting well water testing using the Permit Portal. You can also have your water tested by a lab that is certified by the N.C. Division of Public Health.

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.

Complete list of all tests offered by Wake County

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

Organics
​Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
​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 tobacco fields.

​Pesticides

Recommended every five years for all well users.

​Herbicides

Recommended every five years for all well users.

Radiological
​Gross Alpha & Beta Radiation ​Click here for a notice for private well users regarding radiological contamination.

​Radon in Water


​Uranium


​Radium 226 & 228


Nuisance Bacteria
Iron Bacteria​

​Recommended only if your well shows signs of plugging or biofouling

​Sulfur Bacteria Recommended only if your well water smells like rotten eggs​