Water Testing


Safe, clean water is one of the most important substances in our lives – for drinking, cooking, bathing and cleaning. Municipal water systems test their water regularly to ensure it is safe, but it’s up to private well owners to test their well water annually.

Lincoln County Health Department has a Wisconsin certified water lab for testing private well water for bacteria and nitrates.

  • Bacteria test kit- $20.00
  • Nitrate test kit- $30.00
  • Young Families Well Water Test Kit- One Free (Eligibility: Lincoln County resident with a child under 2. Tests for bacteria, nitrates, fluoride, and metal; $264 Value)

* Prices are subject to change.

Bacteria Lab is open year round. 

Nitrate Lab is open March through November. 

How Do I Get a Kit?

Kits can be picked up at the Health Department on Monday – Thursday from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. and Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. If these times do not work, kits can also be mailed to you for a small fee.

  • Bacteria water samples are accepted for testing Monday-Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 pm.
  • Nitrate water samples are accepted for testing Monday from 10:00 am – 4:30 pm and Tuesday from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.

Bacteria and nitrate samples should be shipped to or dropped off at the water lab the same day or within 24 hours after they are taken. Samples greater than 24 hours old cannot be tested and must be refused.

When Should I Test My Water?

Yearly testing is recommended to help protect and provide quality well water. You should also test your water whenever there is a change in taste, odor, or color, or when the system is serviced.

Below are some guidelines on when to test.


  • Annually
  • ​Newly constructed wells
  • Wells with no testing history
  • A change in taste, color or smell. 


  • Annually 
  • Newly constructed wells
  • Wells with no testing history
  • Before the well will be used by a woman who is pregnant or may become pregnant.
  • Children using the well.

For information on more comprehensive water test kits that are available please visit the UW Stevens Point Water Testing Lab or the UW Oshkosh Water Testing Lab websites.

What Do I Do if the Tests Show Problems?


If test results show you have coliform bacteria in your well water, a second sample should be taken to confirm the first results. If after re-testing, results still indicate your well water has coliform bacteria, contact the laboratory or Lincoln County Health Department at 715-536-0307.


If a high level of nitrate is present in your well, contact a well driller or plumber for assistance.

For more information on Well Water Testing contact Erin Ray, Environmental Health Technician at 715-539-1367 or erin.ray [at] co.lincoln.wi.us (send an email.)

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