Water Quality Test Question

So I did a inspection recently and also did a well flow and water quality (bacteria, lead, nitrite, nitrate). The bacteria failed and the well flow failed. When called back to redo these tests (the tank replaced (failed bladder), and gauge replaced (read over 100psi 1st visit)) the home owner says “I spoke to a few inspectors who told me that they always shock the well a few days before taking water samples and were taken back that you did not”. I said I have never heard of that and I would think that is way off from what any inspector should be doing. Sooooooo maybe stupid question but I figure why not ask what does it hurt. So the question is obvious does anybody or has anybody ever heard of this??? Or is this owner just making up stuff?

FYI he said after equipment replaced the well as producing 8gpm. I asked how long tested he said 15min. So readers digest we went from 5gpm at beginning to around 2.5 at 30min in to 0gpm 60min in. Gauge dropped to 10psi 30min in and down to 0 by 60 min and when I turned everything off it jumped back up to 50psi in like 2min…. reran and it blasted out and died again about 10min in. So retest was a bust.

Down here in MD, we actually test for chlorine in the water to make sure it wasn’t just shocked. We want to find out the true water quality. Sounds like they’ll need to get a well contractor out there anyways.


Shocking the well does not give you a true test to what is in the water. It will kill the bacteria in the water but at what rate will it begin to come back? I was told the same thing years ago by a realtor. I asked him to find me the resource that says to do it that way. He has not gotten back to me yet.
As for the flow rate, it sounds like you are draining the well dry. if you stop for a few minutes the well fills up again and you get good flow. I do a two hour test and take readings every ten minutes.

I have never heard of any inspector shocking a well before inspect. Seller is misinformed. We do hundreds of water tests a year and always test for chlorine prior to testing to ensure no one is trying to influence results.

Pay no attention to that homeowner. They are trying to tell you how to do your job.

As indicated above, the whole idea is to check a well in its current state to determine if there is bacteria present.

I have seen wells do just what you described. Send in the well service company.

It is totally based on water inspection which is done which type of water that is and which area you taken from? Many types of question arrives so you need to careful that type of water.

I had a realtor demand it of me for future water tests. I said, so let me understand this, you want me to go to someones home, pour chlorine in their well, tell them to leave the water alone for 24 to 48 hours, make a trip back to flush the system, then test? BTW folks, if you are shocking wells, you are technically working on the property. Most likely, you are going against your SOP. I also asked the realtor if he was going to pay me for my time and travel…an average of 3 hours round trip to and from him.

I would say testing any private water supply immediately after chlorinating the well would be contrary to any state or local health department procedures. If I were you I would contact your state or local health department for the proper testing procedures and mention your local real estate agents are requesting you chlorinate the well. I suspect you will hear the phone drop, loud belly laugnter followed by WTF…:slight_smile:

Just talked to a well test guy who 2 years ago told me $125.00 to test.
Now its $160.00 if he is also doing the septic and the $160.00 covers a couple of dozen things. The complete test is closer to $300.00

I don’t see well testing in my future beyond giving the buyer a name.

Paul, I charge $130 for lead, nitrates,nitrites, coliform and bacteria. Most guys probably charge a bit more like $150. I pay out $80 to the lab. I make $50 for 5 minutes work. My lab gives me the bottles, overnight postage. I just drop them in the mail or at the post office. All is complete in 5-7 business days. It easy money. I did roughly 300 tests last year. Added roughly $15K to the mix with little work involved. You might want to consider it.

For water quality test you need to many liquids which purifies water from bacteria and other things. After that you can start with inspection.