DRINKING WATER QUALITY AND WATER TESTING FAQs
Will Cook Inletkeeper test my well water?
No—but we can help point you in the right direction and get your well water tested by a state-certified water quality laboratory.
Do you want your water tested? The following two links will take you to a list of labs certified for chemical and microbiology analysis by Alaska Division of Environmental Health:
• Laboratories Certified to Perform Microbiology Analyses of Drinking Water
• Laboratories Certified to Perform Chemical Analyses of Drinking Water
Why should I have my well water tested?
Contaminants in drinking water may cause chronic (i.e. long term) health effects as a result of digesting small doses over a period of time. High levels of contaminants can also pose acute (short term) health effects. Pregnant women, babies and young children may be more vulnerable to certain drinking water contaminants. In addition to risks posed by consumption, showering and other uses can pose health risks with certain contaminants. Click here to read more
How frequently and under what circumstances should I test my well water?
It is recommended to test your well water annually for bacteria and nitrates, preferably each spring. It is also a good idea to test your well water after flooding or when you experience any noticeable change in water color, taste or smell. In addition, you should test your well water when changes or repairs are made to your well or water system, when activating a well or water system that has not been used in a long time and when land uses change in the vicinity of you well.
How much does well water testing cost?
Depending on which contaminants you want to test for, the regular price for the kits can range from $140 to $280.
Where do contaminants come from?
Some contaminants occur naturally, while others flow from human activities. For example, arsenic is a naturally occurring contaminant that poses significant health risks. On the other hand, human activities – such as leaks, spills, land use changes, septic systems, landfills, fertilizers/pesticides, sewage, animal waste, fuel storage tanks, etc. – can produce contaminants that enter aquifers and groundwater. For more details on specific types of contaminants, click here.
Where can I find out about the quality of a public water source?
There are hundreds of public water systems throughout the communities of Cook Inlet. In Alaska, the Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) oversees public water systems throughout the state. All public water systems are required to test their water for contaminants, including bacteria and metals such as arsenic. Public water sources that serve at least 25 year-round residents are required to publish a water quality report annually, which can be requested by contacting the utility, city, or tribe.
What do I do if I have contaminants in my water?
There are several types of treatment options available, and finding the best option for your situation will take some research and talking with experts in the field. Below are some links to local business that may guide you and help you make smart decisions when considering a water treatment.
Cook Inletkeeper does not endorse any business, product, or water treatment action. This list is provided below for your convenience.
- Alaska Quality Water (Kinetico), Homer, www.akqualitywater.com, 235-5116 or toll free 1-866-269-4426
- Kenai Peninsula Water Treatment LLC. , Kenai, http://kpwtllc.com/index.html, 283-5832
- Water Systems and Service Company, Kenai, 776-8066
- Alaksa’s H20 Pros, Sterling, 262-8711
- Alaska Pure Water Products, http://alaskapurewater.com, 907-563-3770, Pumps, tanks, filters & housings, water treatment and purification. Water Treatment and Purification brands carried: AJ Antunes and Co., ClearWater Tech, LLC., Kinetico, MIXO, R-can Environmental, Sea Recovery, Ultraviolet Purification Equipment, UVPure.
- MatSu Water, http://www.matsuwater.net, 1-888-291-2444, Water Softeners: Braswell, Fleck; Filters: Freshpoint, GE, Pentek, FreshPoint; Iron & Sulfer Removal Systems: Braswell,
- WaterPro,www.ewaterpro.com/home.html, 1-888-373-4624, Consultants on drinking water systems, installation, and sales. Based out of Wasilla.