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Well Water Testing

Our state-certified laboratory can perform a variety of research focusing on rapid molecular testing and microbial source tracking. The lab analysis equipment and methods are the most up-to-date and rapid as approved by regulatory agencies.

We provide well water testing and bacteriological and chemical analysis for all types of water systems. We also offer town-based testing programs, individually designed to assist municipalities with resident water testing requirements. Our staff is available to provide knowledge on a number of well water questions regarding safety of the water, well maintenance, and other well-related issues.

To decide what tests to request based on the symptoms you are experiencing–such as smell, taste, color, texture, or other identifiers–visit the Wisconsin DNR website.

Common tests include:

Arsenic is a semi-metal element that is odorless and tasteless. It enters drinking water supplies from natural deposits in the earth or from agricultural and industrial practices.   The maximum allowable level of arsenic in potable water is less than 10 micrograms (ug)/ 1 liter (L) of water.

Click here for more information from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources regarding arsenic in drinking water.

Bacteriological testing we preform consists of analysis of drinking and surface water for E. coli and Total Coliforms. This particular test method allows us to analyze for presence/absence and also quantify E. coli and Total Coliforms.

Click here for more information about bacteria in well water from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Hard water is created when minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, enter drinking water supplies from natural deposits in the earth. Both ends of the spectrum can be an aesthetic problem, though it does not pose a significant health risk.

Soft water is corrosive, while hard water causes lime buildup and scaling. Hard water also decreases soap effectiveness when used for laundering or other cleaning purposes.

The present recommended limit for iron in water, 0.3 mg/l (ppm), is based on taste and appearance rather than on any detrimental health effect. Water with an excess of iron may have a metallic taste and an offensive odor.

It may also cause red, brown, or yellow staining and clogging in household fixtures such as bathtubs and sinks.

Click here for more information from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on iron in well water.

Nitrite is a form of nitrogen that may be an indication of recent fecal contamination in the water supply. Typically, this test is conducted when a new well is installed or when pump maintenance occurs. The maximum allowable level of nitrite in potable water is less than 1.0 milligram (mg)/ 1 liter (L) of water.

ERIC is state-certified by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to conduct analysis of Nitrate + Nitrite in drinking water.

Nitrate in drinking water has the capability of causing health risks, especially to pregnant women and small children, and is therefore beneficial to test for if the primary water consumption is from a well.

Click here for more information regarding nitrate in drinking water from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

State Certifications

ERIC is Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection (DATCP) certified for bacteriological testing including analysis for E. coli, Total Coliforms and Pseudomonas in surface water and drinking water.

It also is Wisconsin DNR state certified for arsenic, nitrate – N, nitrite – N, and nitrate + nitrite – N in drinking water.

Homeowner's Package

For those interested in getting a wide range of tests to find out about their water quality pick up a water testing kit.

The Homeowner’s Package includes testing for bacteria, nitrate, arsenic and our cumulative test (which checks the iron, hardness, pH, and alkalinity of your water).

Please contact the lab for pricing.

Request Sampling, Testing and Analysis

If you would like to have your well water tested, feel free to stop by our ERIC lobby to pick up a Homeowner’s Package water testing kit.

If you would prefer to have one of our water quality specialists sample your water, or if you would prefer we mail a water kit to you, please feel free to contact us.

How to Collect Your Samples

Unsure how to collect your samples? The below videos show you how to collect a bacteria sample and a nitrate sample. 

Bacteria Sample Video

Nitrate Sample Video

Still unsure where to start with your sample collection? Call our office at (920) 424-3148 and one of our lab staff can talk you through the process.

Municipality Water Testing

We can coordinate with town-based testing programs for chemical and bacteriological analysis for water quality. Every program is designed to accommodate each municipality’s needs and expectations. Representatives of the ERIC are available to assist with the disbursement of water test kits at a central location within the municipality, help answer any questions, and deliver samples back to the laboratory. For more information, please contact us.

Environmental Research and Innovation Center

(920) 424-3148

783 Pearl Avenue
Oshkosh, WI 54901

Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Samples Accepted
Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Mailing Address
UW Oshkosh ERIC
800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901