About the Program

Free water quality testing is available for households who get their drinking water from a private domestic well or small water system (serving 14 households or less). The goal of this program is to ensure that households are aware of their drinking water quality and any potential health risks, as well as to provide a better understanding of groundwater quality throughout the central coast.


Many rural households get their drinking water from shallow private or shared wells that are susceptible to contamination from various sources. Typically, these wells are not required to be tested or comply with safe drinking water standards. Available information indicates that groundwater in areas of the Central Coast Region may contain unsafe levels of nitrate, arsenic or other compounds.


The State Water Board, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), and local health agencies recommend that households who don’t get their water from a public water system have their drinking water tested annually by a certified laboratory to ensure that their domestic well water is safe.

Sample Collection

On the sampling day, we request your assistance in helping the technician locate your well. The entire sampling process will take approximately thirty (30) minutes to an hour per well. The well will be pumped for about 5-10 minutes prior to the sampling and throughout most of the sampling process. This will purge water from the system to ensure the samples are representative of groundwater conditions within the aquifer. Whenever possible, samples should be collected directly from the wellhead. Water that has undergone filtration or treatment cannot be used.

Well testing Results

Participants will receive well testing results  along with A Guide for Private Domestic Well Owners that includes information regarding recommended water quality testing, how to interpret the results, what to do if the well is contaminated, and how to protect the well from contamination.

Follow-up testing

To request follow-up testing, go to the following website to search for California ELAP certified laboratories in your area that will test your water for a fee.