Private Individual Water Assessment Program
Homeowners can obtain their drinking and other domestic use water through a variety of sources. These include:
- public source
- private well on their property*
- natural spring* and
- surface water from lakes and streams*
Public water systems provide regular contaminant testing and reporting to the public, while all other sources* do not.
- If you are on public water, request your annual water quality report from the company listed on your monthly water bill. Consumption of non-public water means the quality and safety of the water is up to the individual using it.
- Individual onsite water supply systems (IWS) require regular testing and maintenance to reduce hazards which may impact your (the consumer’s) health.
What is your water source? If you do not receive a bill from a provider, i.e. OCWA, then your water is from a private source, an IWS. If you don’t know, track down the source of your water!
Due to the dynamic nature and likelihood of bacterial contamination, it is strongly recommended that surface (lakes and streams) water as well as natural springs not be consumed.
Free Water Assessments for Individual Water Systems
Madison County Health Department provides free assessments to eligible owners of residential wells, and other small individual onsite water systems serving households in Madison County. We offer technical assistance on measures that can help you protect your private individual drinking water supply.
To learn more about this free assessment service, call Madison County Health Department’s Water Specialist at 315-366-2526.
Limited Free Water Sampling for Individual Water Systems
The Madison County Health Department, in coordination with the CDC Safe WATCH (Water for Community Health) program, provides free sampling and laboratory certified testing to eligible owners of residential wells, and other small individual onsite water systems serving households in Madison County identified as being under-represented based on tally of current responses.
Individuals living in Smithfield, Fenner, and Georgetown are urged to call for free sampling (full sample set, see “What is in my water?”) while other towns are encouraged to call for free bacterial sampling only. To learn more about this free sampling service, call Madison County Health Department’s Water Specialist at 315-366-2526.
If you choose to contact a local water testing service, below is a link with information about what you may want to have tested and what the results mean.
- List of Contaminants to Consider Testing for
Most labs let you choose what you would like from your water test. Customize testing for your needs, for example, include bacteria, nitrate, hardness, pH. Your results can be used to design your treatment plan, if needed specific to your system. At a minimum, it is recommended to sample yearly for bacteria, nitrate, and arsenic.
- Understanding Your Water Quality Test Results