Wake County has found wells with unsafe levels of uranium, radon and radium in the water. These substances occur naturally in the rock located underground in the areas highlighted on the map below. Drinking well water contaminated with them may cause significant health problems, including kidney toxicity and cancer.


How do I know if this impacts me?

Private well owners are responsible for the regular maintenance and testing of their water supply.

This notice is to inform residents about the naturally-occurring groundwater contaminants found in the highlighted area on the map below, so they can decide what actions to take to determine whether their wells are impacted. In this area, we expect one in five wells to have unsafe levels of contamination.

This notice only applies to people who get water from a private well. If you currently pay a water bill, you may disregard this notice, because your water system is already being tested.


What are the health risks?

All drinking water may contain small amounts of contaminants. At higher levels, these contaminants may cause health risks.

In the short term, drinking water with too much uranium can cause kidney toxicity. In the long term, drinking water with too much uranium or radium – and drinking or bathing in water with too much radon – can increase the risk of certain cancers.

In general, the people most at risk of becoming sick are infants, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people whose immune systems are compromised because of AIDS, chemotherapy or transplant medications.

If you have concerns about possible health effects, contact your medical provider.


What can I do?


Only certified laboratory testing can determine if your well water has unsafe levels of contamination. This is true even if your well water looks, smells and tastes normal. Well water quality may change over time, so you cannot rely on the results of old tests, either from a professional lab or off-the-shelf kit.

To check for potential risks, you can hire a certified laboratory to test for all of the following substances: 

  • Uranium
  • Gross Alpha & Gross Beta
  • Radon
These labs are certified by the N.C. Division of Public Health to test for the contaminants listed above and offer services to retail customers:

Lab Phone ​Collection
​Wake County ​919-893-WELL ​County staff collects samples. Apply through Wake County Permit Portal. Click here for instructions on how to use the permit portal
Florida Radiochemistry Services ​407-382-7733 ​​Lab ships bottles to customer. Resident ships back filled bottles.
​GEL Laboratories ​843-556-8171 ​Lab ships bottles to customer and provides return shipping label. Resident ships back filled bottles.
National Testing Laboratories ​800-458-3330 ​Lab ships bottles to customer. Resident ships back filled bottles.
Pace Analytical
​Lab collects samples for a fee, or residents may collect and deliver.
Watch the video below to see a reliable way to collect a water sample from your well. Depending on the lab you use, your kit may vary in size or scope, so be sure to follow the specific instructions provided by your lab.
If you have never had your well water tested, or it has been more than five years since your last test, you may also want to test for other common contaminants.

This information is provided to help Wake County residents identify the service offerings of certified labs. The list is subject to change. There may be other qualified contractors not appearing on this list. These laboratories are independent contractors not affiliated with Wake County. Wake County makes no representation or warranties regarding the services provided by these laboratories and the costs of any services is the responsibility of the party contracting the services. 

What if I can't afford the testing?

Hiring a private lab may cost hundreds of dollars. If you meet certain income guidelines and cannot afford private well water testing, Wake County may be able to help. Click here for more info.


How can I Learn More?

For more information on this issue, call 919-893-WELL.



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