Residents often have questions about how to sample their private well. You can get started by contacting your LDH parish health unit sanitarian, who can discuss any specific concerns you may have about your well. They often are familiar with local, certified companies that perform well inspections and maintenance and they can also provide bacteriological testing for a fee. The cost is generally $75 for sample collection and laboratory analysis. If the well owner wants to collect the sample themselves and transport it to the local sanitarians the general cost is $40 per sample. Contact the local sanitarians for sample bottles, forms, payment and drop off location information. Most parish sanitarians are located in the Parish Health Unit. The contact information for the Parish Health Units can be found at http://dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/394.
The next step is selecting a licensed well inspection professional by accessing the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources listing at http://sonlite.dnr.state.la.us/sundown/cart_prod/cart_con_wwwr_active_drillers. The National Groundwater Association also provides information on locating and selecting a well inspector and the questions you should ask www.wellowner.org. After you choose a well inspection professional, you can double check to make sure their license is current by calling the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Office of Conservation at (225)342-8244 or by email at email@example.com.
Lastly, a listing of LDH certified laboratories are available at http://dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/490. Once you have had your well water tested and receive the results, you can visit the Penn State University Well Water Interpretation Tool to understand what your results mean. Residents are also encouraged to call LDH with any additional questions toll free at 1-888-293-7020.
Annual well maintenance is essential to keep your water safe. Well owners are encouraged to follow the advice provided in the brochure to keep their well in functional condition for years to come.
Louisiana law requires that all new water wells constructed in the state, and older wells that have been re-worked, be registered with the Office of Conservation. A Water Well Registration Form is to be submitted to the agency within 30 days of completion. Additional information regarding water well registration can be found on the Water Well Drillers webpage.
Owners of un-registered water wells (constructed prior to November 1, 1985) are likewise encouraged to register their wells with the agency. Registration ensures proper tracking, safeguards the environment from potential contamination, and guarantees the well owner a voice in the evaluation process when new water well notifications for the area arrive at the Office of Conservation.
To see if your water well is registered, you may access the SONRIS online database by following the links below:
Report all changes of information including changes in use or transfers of ownership by submitting a Water Well Notification Form, checking Box B for 'Information Change from earlier form', and filling in the appropriate areas on the form.
The plugging and abandonment of water wells must be conducted by a licensed Water Well Driller in accordance with the rules and regulations found in LAC 56 (Chapter 5, Section 511), with only certain exceptions. The WELL OWNER has the responsibility to ensure the proper plugging of a water well within 90 days of abandonment. The licensed Water Well Driller shall notify the Office of Conservation within 30 days of the completion of this work.