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Well Water Safety

Well water containing microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses can make you sick. The only way to make sure your water supply is safe to drink is to test it regularly. Peterborough Public Health recommends that you test your well water two times per year if it is from a drilled well and four times per year if it is from a dug well. Drinking water from private residences and cottages can be tested for free.

If you want to know more about private wells, you can check out our information package for owners of private wells – “How Well Is Your Well?”

For information on how to collect a water sample properly, please visit Public Health Ontario.

For more information on testing your drinking water or to speak with a Public Health Inspector, call Peterborough Public Health.

How to Sample Well Water:

Step 1 – Get a sample bottle! Sample bottles are available at the Regional Public Health Laboratory, Peterborough Public Health, and township offices.

Step 2 – Drop it off for testing

Water samples can be dropped off at the following locations:

Year Round:

  • Public Health Ontario Laboratory at 99 Hospital Drive weekdays between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Peterborough Public Health, 185 King Street, Peterborough.  Between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon on Fridays.
  • Havelock-Belmont-Methuen Township Office at 1 Ottawa St., Havelock. Monday through Thursday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Seasonally (April to November):

  • Municipality of Trent Lakes Administration Office, 760 County Road 36, Trent Lakes. Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8:30am and 10:00am.
  • Township of North Kawartha, 280 Burleigh Street, Apsley. Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.

Should you wish to perform further testing (e.g. nitrates, sodium, fluoride, metals, chemicals), you must contact a private laboratory. Find one in this list of accredited laboratories or call Peterborough Public Health for more information.

Additional information: