Public Water Supply Testing

The State of Michigan, Department of Public Health has adopted regulation of public water wells as mandated by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Public Act 165 establishes an annual fee for all community and noncommunity water supplies and mandates water sampling. All parishes, schools and all other locations that have their own wells are covered by this law.

Parishes that do not have schools or day care and have their own wells are classified as Transient Noncommunity public water systems because they serve an average of 25 or more persons per day at least 60 days per year. The current fee for these locations is $85.00. Required sampling includes an annual sample for nitrate and one sample in three years for nitrite. After June 29,1994 quarterly samples must be taken for coliform bacteria unless a reduction to annual sampling has been authorized by the Health Department based on a sanitary survey. These locations should contact their County Health Department and request a sanitary survey.

Schools and other facilities that have their own wells and serve the same 25 or more persons (students/employees) on a routine basis, at least six months per year are classified as Nontransient Noncommunity public water systems. The current fee for these locations is $360.00. Sampling is required for seven contaminant groups; Lead/Copper, Nitrate/Nitrite, Total Coliform, Metals, Cyanide, Volatile Organics, and Synthetic Organics.

The Michigan Department of Public Health (MDPH) Laboratory will do the required water analysis at a lower cost than private laboratories. Each location that has a well should have received a letter from the Michigan Department of Public Health which included a card to be returned to indicate who will do the required testing. If the MDPH is chosen they will send you sampling bottles when samples are required.

The State sent out invoices for the annual fees in the fall of 1993. It should be noted that the annual fee does not include the cost of water sample analysis.