There are some people whose water comes from private wells. MassDEP and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) do not regulate private wells. Local Boards of Health establish regulations for private wells, which can include regulations for:
- Siting the well
- Well construction
- Water quality
- Water quantity
Boards of Health do not test your private well water. You are highly encouraged to get your water tested at a MassDEP certified laboratory for private drinking water.
Your local Board of Health may require you to get your water tested for certain contaminants. Contact your local Board of Health prior to getting your water tested.
Private well owners should have their water tested periodically. The suggested frequency of water testing depends on many factors, including past test results, age of the well, and proximity to sites using hazardous chemicals.
Find answers to frequently asked questions about private wells
Arsenic in private wells
Arsenic is a natural substance that exists in the soil and bedrock in parts of Massachusetts. Commercial uses of arsenic can also contaminate the ground and water. Owners of private wells should have their water tested for arsenic.
The link below will connect you to information on arsenic, health effects of ingesting arsenic, testing private well water, and treating contaminated water.
Frequently asked questions about arsenic in private well water