How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes

Is water from a private well required to be tested in Florida?

Sunday, June 11, 2023

The State of Florida does not have any requirements for private well water testing, but testing at least once a year for bacteria and nitrates is recommended. According to the Florida Department of Health, "Bacteria and nitrates can reach the ground water and wells through poorly maintained septic systems, livestock areas and fertilizer application, or as a result of poorly constructed wells. Chemicals can enter into the ground water from leaking gasoline storage tanks, pesticide applications, landfills, and improper disposal of toxic and hazardous wastes. As a private well owner, you should be aware of these potential risks to the ground water and your household water supply."

    Most county health departments in Florida provide water testing for a nominal fee, usually $30 to $40, and will give you instructions on how to properly collect the water sample. There are also state-certified private labs that can do the basic tests, and check for lead, iron, arsenic, and other contaminants for an additional fee.

Also, whenever a home has been unoccupied for an extended period of time we recommend disinfecting the well, especially if the electricity has been turned off at any time during that period. This is a situation we see often in country houses and mobile homes in our North Central Florida area that are for sale and have sat empty on the market for a while. The culprit you are trying to eliminate is E Coli bacteria.

    Yes, you can test the water first for bacteria, but the time and expense of testing is more trouble than if you just went ahead and disinfected the well. Plus, the odds are high that the test will be positive. 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 
Field Guide for Home Inspectors, a quick reference for finding the age of 154 brands of HVAC systems, water heaters, and electrical panels, plus 210 code standards for site-built and manufactured homes, and the life expectancy rating of 195 home components. Available at for $19.95.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Here’s links to some of our other articles about WELLS:

Why does my well pump turn on and off every time I use water? 

• What is the required water testing for an FHA, VA, or USDA mortgage application? 

What are the pros and cons of steel versus PVC for well construction?

• What is the average life expectancy of a well? 

What is the average life expectancy of a well pump?

• Should I buy a house with a well?

What is the blue dumbbell-shaped tank at the well equipment?

What is the tank marked "potassium permanganate" in the water treatment system for? 

Does an abandoned well need to be capped or removed?

Does a homeowner need a permit to drill a water well on their property in Florida? 

Is a high iron level in well water a health hazard?

 Should I test my well water for arsenic?

What is the danger of radon in well water? 

What size generator do I need to run my submersible well pump?

Why would a well need to have a chlorinator/dechlorinator system? 

How far away does a well need to be from a septic system in Florida? 

• Does a home inspector check the well?

• How high above ground does a well casing have to be  in Florida? 

Can a well next to a house cause foundation problems?

• How can I determine the age of a Sta-Rite well water pump? 

Why is the top of the well casing so far above the ground?

Is a water softener bad for my water heater?

• How long does a well casing last? 

Water Heaters

Water Heater Age

"What Are The

Signs Of..."

Septic Tank Systems

Structure and Rooms

Plumbing Pipes

Termites, Wood Rot

& Pests



When It First

Became Code

"Should I Buy A..."

Park Model Homes


Shingle Roofs




Wind Mitigation

Roof and Attic

"Does A Home


Pool and Spa

"What Is The Difference Between..."




Concrete and

Concrete Block

Metal Roofs


Modular Homes

Rain Gutters

Mold, Lead & Other Contaminants


Older and

Historic Houses

Crawl Spaces

Mobile-Manufactured Homes

Building Permits

Life Expectancy

Clay Soil





Exterior Walls

& Structures


Common Problems

HUD-Code for

Mobile Homes

Garages and Carports

Flat (Low Slope) Roofs

Electrical Panels

Sprinkler Systems

Electrical Receptacle Outlets

4-Point Inspections

Hurricane Resistance

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Home Inspection

Heating and Air Conditioning

Building Codes

Fireplaces and Chimneys

Inspector Licensing

& Standards

Energy Efficiency

Washers and Dryers



Doors and Windows



Electrical Wiring

Click Below  

for Links

to Collections

of Blog Posts

by Subject

Plumbing Drains

and Traps


Smoke & CO Alarms

Aging in Place

Top 5 results given instantly.

Click on magnifying glass

for all search results.






Air Conditioner & Furnace Age/Size


Electrical Switches





Water Intrusion

Electrical - Old

and Obsolete


Foundation Certifications

Tiny Houses

About McGarry and Madsen



Buying a home in North/Central Florida? Check our price for a  team inspection by two FL-licensed contractors and inspectors. Over 8,500 inspections completed in 20+ years. In a hurry? We will get it done for you.

Moisture Problems

Crawl Spaces