Water Samples

After pumping the well and water system to remove the disinfectant, collect a water sample from the system using a sterile bottle provided by a laboratory that is certified to perform bacteriological analyses. Before the installation can be placed in service for human consumption, the water sample collected should have less than two coliform organisms per 100 milliliters of water. If the first sample is unsatisfactory, the disinfection procedure should be repeated and another sample collected for analysis. This procedure should continue until test results are satisfactory.

In addition to bacteriological testing, all new wells should be sampled for chemical analysis. The analysis should include all parameters listed in Table 7:

Table 7: Water Test Parameters & Drinking Water Standards

* Only one test needs to be performed for nitrates. However, a laboratory can report the results of its nitrate testing in either of the ways listed.
Test Parameter State/Federal Drinking Water Standard Aesthetic Recommendation
Total hardness, as CaCO3 - -
pH - -
Specific conductance, in mhos - -
Alkalinity (Total) as CaCO3 - -
Arsenic 0.01 milligrams per liter
Chlorides, as CI - 250 milligrams per liter
Dissolved solids - 500 milligrams per liter
Iron, as Fe (Total) - 0.3 milligrams per liter
Manganese, as Mn (Total) - 0.05 milligrams per liter
Nitrates, expressed as Nitrogen * 10 milligrams per liter
Nitrates, expressed as Nitrates * 45 milligrams per liter
Sulphates - 250 milligrams per liter
Fluoride 4 milligrams per liter
1 milligrams per liter


If a resident has been advised by a physician to limit their dietary intake of sodium it is recommended that the water also be tested for sodium, so that source of sodium intake can be factored into the resident's total diet. If a water softener will be installed for treatment, then that source of sodium input to the water should also be factored into the resident's total diet. It also is desirable to test in the field for hydrogen sulfide.

Owner's Responsibility

It is the well owner's responsibility to obtain the required samples and have the laboratory tests made. Copies of the bacteriological and chemical analysis reports should be filed by with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.


The well driller and/or water system installation contractor should construct and install the well and/or water system in accordance with these standards and acceptable industry practices. If these criteria are met, the well driller and water system installation contractor should not be responsible for the quality or quantity of water obtained.


In accordance with Indiana Code 25-39 and Rule 312 IAC 13, all water well drillers must be licensed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.