Well Water Program
Congratulations on investigating this important step to ensure the safety of your private water supply!
Private water supplies, like wells, are not regulated and it is the responsibility of the owner to ensure quality of the well water. Many contaminants are odorless and colorless. Coliform bacteria and E.coli can present health issues. High nitrates, could pose health risks for infants and other at-risk groups are odorless and colorless.
Ontario County residents can test their well water for potability (coliform bacteria and E.coli).
Download the Household Water Survey.
Fill it out and send it to Cornell Cooperative Extension, Attn: Well Water Testing, 480 North Main Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424.
Note: on the bottom of the second page of the Household Water Survey, check the type of well water testing you want done. The rebates are made possible with our grant from the Ontario Water Resource Council.
You will need to choose one of the following:
Total Coliform / E.coli (positive / negative) results: Cost $30.00 ($15.00 rebate)
Total Coliform / E.coli (positive / negative) and nitrates (enumerated): Cost $55.00 ($25.00 rebate)
When the survey is received at Cornell Cooperative Extension, the bottle(s) and instructions for completing the sampling of your well water will be mailed to the address on the survey.
Quick synopsis of the well water testing program:
• Receive your bottle(s) in the mail with the forms to complete.
• Follow directions to draw a sample from your kitchen sink faucet to test.
• Deliver samples to the drop-off point at the City Mini Storage Office Building in Canandaigua for Life Science Laboratories (a New York State Certified lab).
• Drop off times: 9:00 am to Noon, Monday through Thursday for Coliform Bacteria / E.coli (positive / negative) tests.
• Samples not accepted at any other time.
• Pay for the testing you requested. It is on the lab Chain of Custody Record.
• Total Coliform / E.coli (positive / negative) results: Cost $30.00
• Total Coliform / E.coli (positive / negative) and nitrates (enumerated): Cost $55.00
• Make checks payable to Life Science Labs and leave with your water sample. Credit cards not accepted.
• Cornell Cooperative Extension-Ontario County will receive a copy of your results when you do. At that time, we will process and mail your rebate check according to the amount and test listed above.
If you have any questions about the well testing program, please call Nancy at 585-394-3977 x 427 or email Nancy with your questions.
Thank you for taking this important step to ensure the safety of your private water supply!
Water Quality Information at Cornell University This site provides information for consumers about drinking water safety, home water treatment, wells, septic systems, bottled water, and other water quality issues.
The Groundwater Foundation
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
American Groundwater Trust
National Ground Water Association
Water Systems Council
Information wells and disinfection