How to Interpret Drinking Water Test Results 


After submitting your well water samples for testing with ARA, you will receive a detailed drinking water analysis report when the water analysis is complete.


Your well water lab report will identify your results and the drinking water limit for each contaminant you requested.  Your results may show that a substance was detected in your water sample - this does not necessarily mean that you have a problem with your water. Some substances are not harmful, while others have acceptable "limits" as determined by the EPA and/or your state environmental services department. 


ARA will let you know if and when any of the levels found in your drinking water analysis report are above what is considered acceptable by state and/or federal standards. 


Read our Blog Post: "How to Interpret Your Environmental Lab Report," and go through your results, column by column. 


This tool from NHDESthe NH Department of Environmental Services- provides information about well water testing and how to interpret your well water results: NHDES Be Well Informed Guide can be found at:

Your state's water quality division is always a great resource for getting more information on risk factors and answering questions from concerned citizens about drinking water quality.


The Maine CDC has produced a video to help folks decipher their water quality report. Although the contact info is specific to Maine residents, the content is applicable to most and is very helpful:


(Intended for Maine residents, but great info relevant to all)


If your drinking water analysis shows that the level of contaminant in your water is unsafe or is causing a problem, you should take steps to correct the situation. You can consult a company that specializes in water problems in your area. This could be a  company that deals with "wells & pumps", "filtration systems" or "water purification".  They can explain what technologies are available to remove the contaminant.


A positive bacteria result is often taken care of by chlorinating or "shocking" your well. You can find guidance on this process by clicking this link Disinfecting a Private Well. If you do not wish to this yourself, you can call one of the companies mentioned earlier (well & pump, filtration, or water purification companies) for help and information.








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