Well Water


A standard home inspection does include testing of the basic functions of a private water well. This testing is generally associated with functional testing of the water system as it pertains to delivery of water into the home being inspected. This type of inspection does not include any associated biological or chemical on-site sampling as well as associated off-site analytical laboratory analysis and interpretation.


Analytical (laboratory) testing of well water is not an inspection criteria currently required by the Standard of Practice (SOP) of The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). As a result, this type of inspection is not performed as a part of a standard home inspection.


Alabama is a Caveat Emptor ("let the buyer beware") state in terms of real estate transactions and there are no state legislated provisions which require a property with a private water well to have its water tested for biological or chemical contamination prior to a real estate transaction. At the current time these types of real estate transaction laws are not common. Some counties within specific states mandate that total-coliform tests must be performed prior to real estate transactions. In 2002 The State of New Jersey passed comprehensive private well water testing legislation which is currently believed to be the strictest in the nation.


The Alabama Department of Public health (ADPH) estimates that approximately 44 percent of the state's population depends on ground water for their domestic water requirements. Additionally, the ADPH estimates that approximately 20 percent of the state's population depends on private water supplies, such as wells, for their domestic water requirements.


Various governmental entities in The State of Alabama recommend testing for private water wells. It is generally customary to have an annual coliform bacteria test performed especially in situations where the water well may be shallow with porous soils and relatively close to a private sanitary sewage disposal system (septic tank). The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) currently recommends the following annual tests:





Annual Standard Testing for Household Water Supplies


 Annual Standard Testing for Livestock Water Supplies


  • Total coliform bacteria
  • Nitrate
  • pH
  • Total Dissolved Solids


  • pH
  • Total Dissolved Solids
  • Sulfate
  • Fluoride
  • Lead
  • Barium
  • Fecal coliform bacteria


  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Nitrate
  • Total coliform bacteria

They also recommend additional testing based on the location of the water well in relation to known contamination issues. These additional recommendations pertains to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Volatile Organic Chemicals, chloride, sodium, metals, and / or chemical contamination. These additional recommendations generally pertain to if the water well in questions is located near a known contamination source or a known potential contamination source.


As a comparison The State of New Jersey currently recommends the following testing for private water wells:


  • Total Coliform
  • 26 Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs)
  • Nitrate/Nitrite
  • Lead
  • Arsenic
  • Mercury
  • Radon
  • pH
  • Iron


  • Manganese

We utilize EMSL Analytical, Inc. for all laboratory analytical services. They are a full service environmental and materials testing laboratory with laboratory locations nationwide.


Additionally, our staff has completed federally mandated Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training as well as all required continuing education requirements associated with this training. As a result, we are capable of handling most environmental contamination issues.


It should be noted that there is not currently legislated regulations at the federal or The State of Alabama level in terms of annual or real estate transaction testing for private water wells. The intent of this page is to suggest the minimum recommend standards as well as to show that there are currently more stringent standards. As indicated by The State of Alabama it is up to the owner of the private water well to ensure that the water is safe for consumption.


We can generally accommodate any request for commercially available water well testing. As a standard service and in connection with a standard home inspection we currently offer testing to the ACES household level, to the ACES livestock level, or to the current New Jersey level plus ACES livestock level.


Additional information is available by viewing our FAQ, Links, and Information Page accessible, from the menu, on the left-hand side of this page or by utilizing the following hyper-link: FAQ.


It should be noted that the fastest way, to obtain a quote, for services is to complete the inspection scheduling process. This process does not commit you to services; but, it does allow us to collect important information which is utilized to provide an accurate service quote. Our service rates are competitive and within industry norms. The scheduling process can be started by following the home icon links throughout our site or by utilizing the following hyper-link: Quotes.


If after reviewing our web-site you would like more information about a specific offering we would be glad to speak with you. You can reach us through our contact forms which are accessible, from the main menu, at the top of this page, you can Email us at info@ridleypartners.com, or you can call us at 1-205-746-7567.


P.O. Box 197 Chelsea, AL 35043, USA +1-205-746-7567


Al Mansour 611/18/6 Baghdad, Iraq +964-770-271-4691




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