Testing well water

I have water wells at my park. The state health department does not regulate me as I do not have enough hookups to the wells to warrant any testing according to their rules. However, I still wonder if I should have the water tested as I don’t want to get sued for water related issues. Thoughts?

Coliform - it isn’t harmful in itself but it is easy to test for and is an indicator if you have other more harmful bacteria.

Try googling water district and your state. You should be able to find your state local outreach agency that should help you.

The only other thing I would test for is minerals. I live in an area with mining history so lead and arsenic can be an issue.

This is the DIY answer. An engineer firm can properly test your water.

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This is a tough question, and it might be worth talking to an attorney about. I’d strongly lean toward doing the testing. This is a very DIY answer, so take it with a huge grain of salt:

Pros of testing:
-Your water is probably fine, but if it isn’t, it seems far better to know on the front end so the problem can be addressed. Also, if a resident thinks they got sick from the water you gave them, it’s very easy for them to take a sample themselves and get it tested.

Con:
-What if you test the water, and it just barely crosses an acceptable threshold? For example, say the arsenic standard in your state got reduced from 30 ppb to 10 ppb, and you just tested and find you’re at 10.5 ppb. The water is probably fine, but now that you’ve tested you’re knowingly providing water that is in violation of health standards. By testing you may force your own hand into doing very expensive remedial action that doesn’t in of itself make sense on a cost benefit basis. This is the type of scenario that might make you want to consult with an attorney in advance.

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Even if you aren’t regulated by the EPA you should test your water monthly. Just about every county has a water testing service that can provide an approved container and instructions for water capture and delivery. Costs under $20 per basic water test - you can test for more for an additional fee, and the results are detailed for a well operator if there is any need to make adjustments.

However once you identify anything is beyond your state thresholds you have to notify the tenants so that they are aware. This is one of those areas you have to do more than the minimum. If you don’t have documentation that you’re doing this right it will further give someone motivation to sue you if they get sick. These tests will show you’re not the cause of anyone getting sick because you’ve done a good job confirming the quality, far exceeding your state regulations.

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How many homes and people are in your park? If you have 15 or more homes or 25 or more of the same people that are year round residents you are a “community water system” are have very specific testing requirements. If you are under 15 homes and less than 25 year round residents then you are regulated at the state level and there may not be a legal requirement for testing. However I agree completely with @jhutson you still need to test. I would recommend the following schedule Coliform bacteria (possibly monthly but no less than quarterly ), arsenic minimum once every 3 years, nitrates every year. If someone gets sick and you get sued and stand before a judge and have no data your going to look really silly when the judge asks why did you did not spend $20.00 to test the water for a bacteria test or $50.00 for a arsenic, or nitrate test.

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You won’t only look silly you will look liable… :woman_shrugging: is not a defense.

It’s less than 15 and 25. But I will go ahead and get it tested. What is the worst that could happen with the results? The well water is completely terrible and I need to connect to city services? What is the most common problem found and the solution to fix it? Many thanks!

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Most everything can be treated but it just costs money… One of our projects for the day is to replace the media on an arsenic treatment system for 22 homes. Cost $5000 will last a year or year and half.

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I would test it. By testing you can identify problems before a tenant or a government agency. That gives you more time for corrective action if you discover an issue. When the government discovers a problem before you, they don’t give you much time to react.

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Installing a water filtration system for a home cannot be a solution?

Be very selective with water problem parks. The liabity associated with them is tremendous, and sometimes never ending - even if you sell it. The insurability of water caused illness can be expensive too depending on the overall condition of the property and the state it is located in.