Private Wells

In the United States, over 15 million U.S. households (approximately 15 percent of Americans) rely on private wells for drinking water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s rules that protect public drinking water systems do not apply to individual water systems and privately owned wells. Private wells are not regulated by local government.

If you own a well, it’s up to you to make sure your water is safe to drink. Water filtration systems do not guarantee removal of bacteria in well water.

Why Test for E. Coli Bacteria in Well Water

The greatest waterborne risk to health are fecal pathogens transmitted by feces of humans and warm-blooded animals.

E. coli is the major species of fecal bacteria, and is the most reliable indicator organism of fecal contamination and fecal pathogens.This is because E. coli is generally not found growing and reproducing in the environment and is introduced into the environment through the feces of humans and warm-blooded animals.

Testing drinking water for total coliform bacteria only gives a general indication of the sanitary condition of a water supply. Total coliforms are a large group of bacteria that include a variety of different types of bacteria, many of which are not likely to be of fecal origin. The total coliform group of bacteria is no longer recommended as an indicator of fecal contamination.

The U.S. EPA  Revised Total Coliform Rule mandates public water supplies with routine samples that test positive for total coliforms must be tested for the presence of E. coli.

The presence of E. coli bacteria in well water is a serious problem. A positive test could mean feces and harmful germs are in your water system that can cause disease and illness. E. coli enters wells due to poor, defective well construction, or a nearby source of contamination such as animal agriculture or problems with your septic system.

You cannot tell by the look, taste or smell of well water if E. coli bacteria are present. Testing for E. coli is the only reliable way to know if your well water is safe to drink and is not contaminated by fecal organisms. Most state health departments recommend well owners test their water for bacteria at least once a year. If you have experienced bacteria problems in the past, it is recommended you test your well more frequently.

Well Water Quality Test Kit for E. Coli

Use the CBT Kit at home to test specifically for E. coli bacteria. Self-monitor your own water safety outside of local health departments that use state-certified, licensed laboratories. With the CBT, there is no need to send samples to a lab.


  • Test drinking water for dangerous E. coli bacteria
  • Test in your home  – no lab needed
  • Protect your family