Wells and Drinking Water Safety
Well Construction Permitting Process
Testing Your Well’s Drinking Water
Requirements for testing water from private wells are not regulated by the state but by local boards of health. The Wendell Board of Health specifies its testing specifics for wells in Section IV of its regulations (click on the “Health” tab at the top left of the website.)
Privates wells should be tested :
- When a new well construction has been completed
- During a Title 5 Inspection for the transfer, sale, or conveyance of a property’s title. The sample will be collected by our Health Agent.
- If a well is near a former landfill or other site that may be contaminated
- When the water develops a change in color, taste or smell
- Mass DEP recommends all wells be tested yearly for nitrate/nitrite, E. coli and Total Coliform. Shallow dug wells are more susceptible to contamination by bacteria and may need more frequent testing, especially after heavy or frequent rains.
- At the least, Mass DEP recommends that wells be tested every 10 years for the parameters listed in our regulations.
All water test samples must be evaluated by a state-certified laboratory. The two certified laboratories nearest to Wendell are:
Howard Environmental Services, Inc. 110 North Hillside Rd., Unit #17, Deerfield, MA 01373
Phone: 413-247-5533 Website: Howard Environmental Services, Inc.
Quabbin Analytical Laboratory 9 Stadler St., Belchertown, MA 01007
Phone: 413-323-7134 Website: Quabbin Analytical Laboratory
For a complete list of state-certified laboratories in Massachusetts go to
You can contact the labs’ websites to learn about testing costs and options, hours of operation, how to collect a water sample, and how to sanitize a well that tests positive for bacteria. You must use sterilized water bottles provided by the lab to contain your samples. Our Board of Health usually has bottles from the two labs above. The samples must be kept cold and be delivered to the labs within 3 hours for the most accurate results. Lab hours may vary, so call ahead before you deliver your sample to make sure they are open. Please ask the lab to send a copy of the results to us at firstname.lastname@example.org Owners of rental properties should make water test results available to all tenants and the Board of Health.
Mass DEP no longer conducts free PFAS testing for private wells, and the few labs that will test charge $300-$400. You may search the state certified labs web site above or contact us for assistance with your search.