The PWON program is for Louisiana residents who depend on private wells for their drinking water needs and for licensed well professionals who service private wells. Well owners and professionals who want to become familiar with Louisiana’s aquifer systems, groundwater quality, water treatment, and well maintenance issues should join the network to receive quarterly email updates and other valuable information.
The PWON is funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and is a portion of the Louisiana Private Well Initiative (PWI). The Private Well Initiative (PWI) addresses many different aspects of the public health impacts from drinking water from private wells and other sources not protected by the US EPA Safe Drinking Water Act by doing the following:
- Identifying databases that characterize private wells and describe water quantity and quality in private wells and other unregulated drinking water sources (UDWS).
- Promoting access to these databases by public and environmental health practitioners.
- Collecting databases that characterize private wells and describe water quantity and quality in private wells and other UDWS.
- Partnering with the Environmental Public Health Tracking Portal to make these databases available to public and environmental health practitioners.
- Identifying, evaluating, and recommending interventions to protect people from drinking contaminated water from these UDWS.
The Department of Health (LDH) is only required to test and check public water systems. Well owners are responsible for checking and testing their water supply.
Real Estate Transfers: Testing Requirements for Private Water Wells in Louisiana
Private water wells are unregulated in the State of Louisiana, leaving owners responsible for any maintenance, care and testing of their wells. Lenders often require some type of testing for real estate transfers and may defer to the regulations of the state where the transaction is occurring.
Although testing is not required in the State of Louisiana, it is strongly recommended that owners test their wells for Total Coliform/E. Coli bacteria at least annually. The Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Public Health’s Laboratories and Sanitarian Services can assist well owners with this service.
Lender-required Total Coliform/E.coli testing can be ordered online at https://www.la.egov.com/ldh/privatewell/ by selecting the “Water & Sewer Approval Request for Loan Letter” option. When choosing this option, a sanitarian will visit the home to collect the sample and transport it to the laboratory for analysis. Sample results are usually returned to sanitarians within 48 hours and a letter is drafted by their department to provide to the owner and/or lender.
If a lender requires chemistry testing (i.e. lead, nitrates, arsenic, etc.), LDH provides a current list of certified laboratories on our website to assist well owners.
Again, testing is not required, however, services are available in the event they are needed. For more information on private water well testing, please visit the Louisiana Private Well Initiative website or call 1-888-293-7020.