It Is Well Inspection Water Testing Disinfection Saratoga Fulton Montgomery Warren Washington Rennselaer Albany Schenectady Counties
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DEC #: NYRD 11010



Well inspections:


Services include:

  • Review of the well and pump history,
  • Evaluation of the pump system and comparison to factory standards,*
  • Visual inspection of the well head and comparison to Department of Health standards,
  • Evaluation of pressure at the pressure tank and pressure tank function,
  • Comparison of minimum distances, as per the Department of Health, from known contaminants sources to the well head, including: septic systems, dry wells, surface water (ie: creeks, rivers), etc.,
  • Water sampling for bacteria, lead, nitrates, and other lab-certified tests,**
  • In-house water testing, including: iron, hardness, pH, manganese, and sulfur – including pre and post treatment sampling,**
  • Flow testing and recharge of the well, as appropriate (see below),*
  • Report, if needed.**


*Flow testing and pump system evaluations are indicative of function on the day they are conducted and are not, necessarily, reflective of future function.


**Additional pricing for water testing and report.  In-house testing does not give an exact level, if an exact level is required, a sample should be sent to a certified laboratory.



Flow testing:


The goal of a flow test is to evaluate the ability of the well to meet or exceed a flow test requirement.  A flow test requirement is the amount of gallons per minute (gpm) needed over a period of time.  For example: 3 gpm for 2 hours (this means that 360 gallons can be pumped over 120 minutes).  A requirement can either be set by a mortgage company, and/or negotiated over between the buyer and seller in a house purchase.  The requirement is the minimum water usage needed by the household in a 24 hour period.  There are a number of recommendations which suggest how much water is adequate.


Suggestions include:

  • 1 gpm per water outlet – if there are 10 outlets in the house (including outside hose bibs), the well should be able to be pumped at 10 gpm during peak time periods,
  • 7 minute peak demand determined via number of bathrooms: 1 bathroom = 45 gallons, 2-2.5 bathrooms = 98 gallons, etc.  Peak demand times can occur several times during morning and evening hours.
  • 80-100 gallons/person/day – if there are 5 people in the house, the well should be able to produce at least 400-500 gallons per day.
  • It is also important to consider whether a sprinkler system is or is planned to be installed and whether a pool/hot tub/jacuzzi is or is planned to be installed, as these will greatly affect water usage.


It is important to note that there are different types of water wells. The only well that is approved by the Department of Health as a potable source of water is a properly constructed Drilled Well, with a minimum of 20’ of steel casing (per NYSDOH).  Springs, Well Points, and Dug Wells are considered surface-fed wells and have an increased risk of contamination and/or fluctuation in quantity.  For this reason, a flow test is not a reliable method for evaluating the recharge of a surface-fed well, as it may be dependent upon seasonal changes – if it is a dry season, you may not have adequate water.  In addition, a bacteria sample in a surface-fed well may be negative one day and positive another depending upon addition of new contaminants and thaw.


If a flow test is required, one will be conducted by a technician, but the report will include the Department of Health clause regarding potable water sources, and recommendation that a drilled well be installed, according to Department of Health regulations.


During the flow test: The technician will attempt to bypass the house, if able, by attaching a hose from the pressure tank and running to the outside, away from the foundation and well head.  A water level indicator will be run down the well, while the water is pumped to measure the drawdown of the well.  After a specified period of time, or once the well has drawn down to the pump intake, the test will be stopped and recharge of the well will be measured by evaluating how quickly the water level rises.  The data will be evaluated and a report will be written, which will state whether the test met or did not meet the flow requirement.  Recommendations will be included, as appropriate, with estimate(s) from local certified well contractor(s) for remediation.



Water testing:


  • Laboratory testing: All samples are taken, according to appropriate standards, and sent to a certified laboratory for testing.  Results will be sent to the customer and a record will be maintained by this company for no less than 5 years.

  • The Department of Health recommends that private water wells be tested annually for coliform.

  • In-house testing: Offered during home inspections to test for iron, hardness, pH, manganese and sulfur, as a means to understand potential need for treatment.  In-house testing can also be done to evaluate the function of existing water treatment.  In-house testing does not give an exact amount – if one is needed, a sample will be sent to a certified laboratory.



Well Disinfection:


It is the decision of this company to use Sterilene as the disinfection method.


It Is Well Inspection Water Testing Disinfection Saratoga Fulton Montgomery Warren Washington Rennselaer Albany Schenectady CountiesSterilene is a chlorine powder that is certified safe to NSF/ANSI 60 for private water well use.  Unlike liquid chlorine or chlorine tablets, Sterilene is not dependent upon the water pH for how well it kills bacteria.  Therefore, using Sterilene, versus liquid or pelleted bleach, decreases the likelihood of a second failing sample due to elevated pH.  To learn more about Sterilene, please see the Resources page.


Reasons to chlorinate:


  • Anytime the well cap is removed, as per Department of Health recommendation,
  • Anytime a well head is disturbed, for example, the well cap is cracked during snow plowing (the cap should be changed and the well disinfected),
  • During a flow test, when the well cap is removed,
  • After installing a new submersible pump,
  • If a new odor or color is noted in the water,
  • Anytime that a sample comes back positive for bacteria.



Services offered:


  • Standard Chlorination – done as precaution for when the well cap is removed, ie: flow testing, well cap replacement, etc.,
  • Disinfection – done to kill present coliform bacteria after a sample has come back positive.
  • During the process of disinfection, the technician will remove the well cap, pour the appropriate mixture of Sterilene and water into the well, flush the well casing with clean water, and bring the chlorinated water into the house to all the fixtures.
  • After the water is brought into the house, it will be the owner’s responsibility to allow the water to sit in the pipes for a minimum of 4 hours and then run the water to waste via an outside spigot until the water no longer smells of chlorine.  (Obviously, it would not be cost effective if the technician stayed the entire time.)  See Handout for Post Chlorination Directions
  • Once the well has been run to clear the chlorine, the water in the house can be used normally until the pipes have cleared.  At this point, a second bacteria sample can be obtained and sent to a laboratory.


During the process of chlorination, the water may turn cloudy, discolored, or show new or increased sediment.  This may last for only a short period, or may continue for a few days.  It is recommended to run the well to clear via an outside spigot or a hose attached to the pressure tank and run to the outside.  It is Well Inspection Services, Inc. is not responsible for plugged fittings/screens due to running the well or new or increased sediment, as a result of chlorination.

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Well Inspection Services

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Serving the Albany Capital District, Saratoga Region and surrounding counties: Saratoga and surrounding counties area: Fulton, Montgomery, Hamilton, Warren, Washington, Rennselaer, Albany, and Schenectady including Greenfield, Corinth, Glens Falls, Queensbury, Lake George, Ticonderoga, Warrensburg, Eagle Bay, Piseco, Remsen, Herkimer, Canajoharie, Schoharie, Berne, Delmar, Ravena, Johnstown, Amsterdam, Schenectady, Albany, Hoosick, Stillwater, Troy, Rexford, Ballston Lake, Ballston Spa, Greenwich, Argyle, and more.

Copyright 2018, by It Is Well, Inspection Services Inc.

P.O. Box 143, Middle Grove, NY 12850