by Jessie Curl


“I need to get my water tested”.

 If you are a property owner with a well in Alabama, it’s likely that you have had this very thought. 

With over 500,000 well owners, it’s important to be aware of the resources available for testing well water in our State.

The Alabama Private Well Program (APWP) was established in 2020 with the goal of answering some of these questions from well owners living in Alabama. Recently, the APWP has partnered with the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) to get a Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Well Water Tested publication into County Health Department and Alabama Extension offices in all 67 counties.

AUWRC's Jessie Curl with the Side-by-Side Guide to Getting Your Well Water Tested

AUWRC’s Alabama Private Well Program Coordinator, Jessie Curl, showcases the Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Well Water Tested. Photo Credit: AUWRC Staff

Why Test My Water?

The quality of a water source may change over time but go unnoticed as the water may smell, appear, and taste the same. Because of this, many well owners will not know that their water is contaminated unless they get it tested.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules that protect public drinking water systems do not apply to individual water systems such as wells. It is a well owner’s responsibility to ensure that the water they are drinking is safe. Regular testing of residential well water will identify any problems, ensure that the water is suitable for its intended use, track water quality over time, and determine the effectiveness of a treatment system if there is one.

Private Well at a Home Site

A private well on a home site. Photo Credit: Jessie Curl

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that well owners check for mechanical issues each spring and perform a water quality test at least once a year. Owners should also test well water quality under any of the following circumstances:

  • A baby is expected in the home
  • The well has recently been affected by a flood
  • A chemical spill has occurred within 500 feet of the well
  • A home with a well is being purchased
  • Neighbors have recently found contaminants in their groundwater
  • The well is old or shallow
  • The well does not meet construction codes
  • Someone in the household is suffering from gastrointestinal illness
  • A nearby development is using hazardous materials
  • The household plumbing is showing signs of deterioration
  • There is a change in the well water’s taste, appearance, or smell

About the Guide

In this guide, readers will learn about the steps required for testing well water with the Alabama Department of Public Health. The guide covers topics such as:

  • The importance of testing well water
  • When and where to get your water tested
  • Collecting a sample for the ADPH
  • Interpreting test results
  • Treating contamination

Interested in picking up a copy? Visit to access your own copy of a Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Well Water Tested.

For resources and upcoming events visit the AUWRC Events Calendar or

Interested in additional blog posts? See below!

AWW Tiger Giving Project, Protect Alabama Waterways, Mini-grant Program

WE ARE CURRENTLY RECEIVING APPLICATIONS FOR THE AWW TIGER GIVING PROJECT MINI-GRANT PROGRAM!! CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE APPLICATION. If you are a certified AWW monitor and need some help to get started monitoring at an orphaned site or a new site, in the form of a water...

WRC Hosts Tours of Green Stormwater Infrastructure on AU Campus

Written By: Dr. Adam Newby, AUWRCThe Auburn University Water Resources Center (AUWRC) offers several water resource-related field experiences to enhance student learning. One such field experience is the Green Stormwater Infrastructure Walking Tour. Each semester, a...

Meet Carolina Ruiz

WE SAT DOWN WITH AUWRC'S CAROLINA RUIZ ALABAMA WATER WATCH'S ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTCarolina with Cahaba Lilies, one of the most iconic plants on the Cahaba River.   Photo Credits: Sydney ZinnerTell us about your background and current position.I have a Bachelor of...

Meet Alexa Kloske

GET TO KNOW ALEXA KLOSKE, AUWRC'S 2023 SUMMER INTERNAlexa Kloske, a Senior in the Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences (CSES) at Auburn University, spent the summer of 2023 interning with the AU Water Resources Center.   Alexa’s interest in water...

ADR: Learn about statewide drought conditions

Alabama Drought Reach (ADR) is a new program at Auburn University Water Resources Center in partnership with the AL Office of the State Climatologist, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Alabama Agriculture Experiment Station, and USGS Water Resources Research...

Meet Dr. John Morris

DR. JOHN C. MORRIS, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, SHARES ABOUT HIS WORK IN WATER POLICYTell us about your background and current position. I joined the faculty at Auburn in 2019 as a professor of political science and public policy. Prior to my appointment at...

AUWRC Teaches Youth About Water Quality

AUWRC TEACHES YOUTH ABOUT LOCAL WATER QUALITYBy: Adam NewbyAuburn University Water Resources Center (AUWRC) staff recently participated in two events aimed at educating kids about Alabama’s water resources and ecosystems.   The Barbour County Extension Office hosted...

Auburn Water Research Social a Big Hit

THE AUWRC HOSTS INAUGURAL AUBURN WATER RESEARCH SOCIALBy: Rachel McGuireThe Auburn University Water Resources Center (AUWRC) hosted the inaugural Auburn Water Research Social on April 18, 2023 at the Ag Heritage Park Pavilion for AU faculty and staff affiliated with...

Meet Brianne Minton

WE SAT DOWN WITH NEW AUWRC TEAM MEMBER, BRIANNE MINTON, ALABAMA DROUGHT REACH PROGRAM COORDINATOR.Tell us about your background and previous position.I grew up in Murfreesboro, TN but moved to Birmingham, AL for undergrad where I received my B.S. in Urban...

Meet Sydney Zinner

WE SAT DOWN WITH AUWRC'S SYDNEY ZINNER, ALABAMA WATER WATCH'S VOLUNTEER MONITOR COORDINATOR.Sydney during her time as a student worker with the ACES Water Program. Photo Credits: Sydney ZinnerAfter participating in the Lee County Water Festival in the 4th grade, I...

Meet Matt Gladfelter

WE SAT DOWN WITH MATT GLADFELTER, A PHD STUDENT IN THE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE SCHOOL OF FISHERIES, AQUACULTURE, & AQUATIC SCIENCES. Matt Gladfelter, a Ph.D. student in the College of Agriculture School of Fisheries, Aquaculture & Aquatic Sciences, is a natural...