Testing of Drinking Water

What type of testing is available for drinking water?

  • Bacteria testing measures both total coliform and E. coli. Bacteria tests provide a general indication of the condition of the well and plumbing system. They also help to identify contamination by more serious sources of bacteria, such as sewage or manure.
  • Chemistry testing measures, for both aesthetic and health considerations, the most common chemicals found in drinking water on PEI. A list of chemistry parameters is listed below.
List of Chemistry Parameters
Arsenic Magnesium Sodium
Barium Manganese Sulphate (calculated from Sulfur)
Calcium Nitrate-N Uranium
Chloride pH Zinc
Copper Phosphorous Alkalinity
Iron Potassium Hardness (calculated from Calcium and Magnesium)
Lead Selenium  

Do I need to have my drinking water tested?

Homeowners, who use drinking water from their own well, should get their water tested as follows:

  • Bacteria: at least once each year or any time that you notice a significant change in the taste, smell, or appearance of the water.
  • Chemistry: when a new well is dug and then once every three to five years.

Tourism operators, who rely on private water wells, are required by law to have their water supply tested for the presence of bacteria. This testing must be done every three months, or part thereof, during a calendar year when the tourism establishment is open to guests.

If you are buying, selling, or re-mortgaging a house, you should speak with your lawyer, lending institution, and/or real estate agent. Specific water testing may be required.

How do I test my drinking water?

First, you need to get the proper bottles and complete a sample analysis form.  Sample bottles and forms are available at the lab located at 23 Innovation Way in the BioCommons Park, or at any Access PEI Site across the province.  Then, it’s a simple process to collect the water and deliver the sample(s) to the lab for testing. Information on the procedure is available here, or on the reverse side of the sample submission form.

What does it cost to have my drinking water tested?

Bacteria test: $40.00 + HST
Chemistry test: $95.00 + HST
Re-samples: $5.00 + HST

Make cheques payable to the Minister of Finance.

Who can I contact for more information?

Debbie Gillis (Administrative Support)
4th Floor, Jones Building
11 Kent Street
Charlottetown, PE  C1A 7N8
Telephone: (902) 368-5014
Toll Free: (866) 368-5044
Fax: (902) 368-5830
Email: dhgillis@gov.pe.ca(link sends e-mail)


Published date: 
June 16, 2016