Water Testing Information For Private Well Owners

Well water quality depends on many factors including: soil and rock types, local land uses, and well type. Well water quality can change over time; so make sure yours is safe to drink. Ensure accuracy of results by using licensed private well samplers, labs, and interpreters.

Testing Schedule

The following tests are recommended for existing well maintenance and some are required by Rhode Island law to be performed for new wells, certificates of occupancy, or property transfers. Required tests are italicized.

Site Specific Testing

If a well is near a known source of groundwater contamination it should be tested for chemicals that may be present at elevated levels. In particular, the Department of Health recommends testing for Beryllium in areas where the bedrock is close to the surface and for Arsenic in areas where there are, or have been orchards as that element has been used in pesticides. Use the private well testing tool to determine which tests you should run for your location more.

Sample Submission

  • Process: Samples must be taken using laboratory-provided bottles. The bottles are available at 50 Orms street. The bottles are free, you pay for the analysis when you drop off the water. If you have any questions, call 401-222-7781.Instructions
  • Location: State Health Laboratory, 50 Orms Street, Providence, RI 02904. Central Receiving Area (right-hand side of building).
  • Hours: 8:30 - 4:30 PM, Monday - Friday (Nitrate/Nitrite Testing samples will not be accepted on Firdays due to holding time requirements.)
  • Fees/Payment: Specific fees for tests. Checks, money orders and credit cards are accepted.