One of the functions of the water Microbiology Laboratory is to provide water testing for private individuals. Since private water sources are not regulated as public water systems are we hope that the information provided will be of help to citizen who rely on private sources (wells, springs, cisterns, etc.) for their drinking water.
Most of the testing done in the Water Microbiology Laboratory is for regulated public water supplies. The laboratory is certified by the EPA which is required by the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Water Microbiology Laboratory must use the standards specified in the Act. The safe Drinking Water Act also outlines the standards for the bacterial quality of public drinking water. The Water Microbiology Laboratory at ADH tests for total coliform bacteria and E. coli , which are the indicator organisms for bacterial contamination specified in the Safe Drinking Water Act. The laboratory also tests private drinking water samples for the presence of total coliforms and E. coli. However, since private water sources are not regulated, there are no standards for the bacterial quality of these samples.
The most common reason that individuals get their private drinking water sources tested is mortgage companies often require “safe” drinking water results before closing on a home mortgage. Most mortgage companies require that testing be done in an EPA-certified laboratory. We have no EPA-certified private laboratories in Arkansas, so the testing must be done at the Water Microbiology Laboratory in Little Rock or at one of the certified municipal laboratories that provides the service.
All documents are in PDF format unless otherwise noted.