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What’s wrong with my water?

You wonder if something's wrong with the water coming from your private well. It smells, tastes or looks different; or it stains your laundry or bathroom fixtures. Confirm the cause of your water complaints before attempting to fix them.

Get the right diagnosis

Use our diagnostic information to get to the bottom of your water concern. Start by taking stock of your complaints - similar to your doctor asking you to describe your symptoms and ordering tests before giving you a diagnosis.

Get tested

Test your water annually for coliform bacteria and at least once for other contaminants. Even if your water looks, tastes and smells good, it can contain harmful bacteria and viruses.

Get the Right Fix

Weigh the possible solutions listed for each diagnosed water problem. They are listed from easiest and/or least expensive solution to hardest and/or most expensive.

Recognize that water treatment units that work for one problem don't necessarily work well for others. If treatment is a good option for your problem, follow these steps to make sure you get the right device.

  • Use a certified laboratory to test your water first to know for certain what the contaminant is and how much is in the water.
  • Install a device approved by the Department of Safety and Professional Services plumbing program [exit DNR].
  • Maintain the device so it works properly and doesn't create other problems.
  • Most treatment requires approval from the DNR prior to installation: Application for Treatment to Control Contaminants in a Private Water Supply Form 3300-321