Frequent Questions

What are EPA's drinking water testing requirements when buying or selling a home with a private household well?


EPA does not regulate private household wells or the buying or selling of homes; thus, there are no EPA testing requirements. However, the buyer’s lending agency may require well water pass a water quality test prior to loan approval. Most lenders require testing for bacteria, nitrate, and lead at a minimum. In addition, some state drinking water agencies may require well testing prior to sale.

Check with your state drinking water agency for any state requirements. The What Every Realtor Should Know About Private Drinking Water Wells (PDF) was developed for well owners in the New England Region but is a good resource regardless of location.

Information is also available from non-profit organizations that work with private well owners, such as the Water Systems Council’s Wellcare Hotline, 1-888-395-1033.


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