Well Testing

Regular well testing is an important step that private well owners can take to ensure that their water supply is both safe to drink and appealing to use. A variety of water testing services are available from New Jersey certified commercial laboratories. These laboratories are listed in the yellow pages of your phone book. You may also call the Health Department for a listing of certified laboratories or for more information on what water testing might be appropriate for your well.

Review our well testing and water quality resources.

Well Testing for Real Estate Transactions

New Jersey's comprehensive Private Well Testing Act (PWTA) requires sampling of private drinking water wells for contamination whenever a property is sold. A laboratory certified by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in drinking water methods must perform the tests, which are estimated to cost between $450 and $650.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has a toll-free hotline, 866-4PW-TEST, so members of the public can get answers to questions about the testing requirements.

Testing Criteria

Under the new law and its companion regulations, well water must be tested for total coliform; nitrates; iron; manganese; pH; lead; and all volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) for which maximum contaminate levels have been established by state regulations. These include such substances as benzene and trichloroethylene. In addition, testing for arsenic must be done in 10 northern and central counties considered high risk, while testing for mercury must be done in nine southern and shore counties.

Test Certification

Before closings, both buyer and seller must certify in writing that the tests were performed and that the results were shared with the parties.