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Water Well Testing in Alberta: Top Signs Your Water Well Needs Testing

A picture of water tube ready for testing.

Unlike most developed countries, Canada doesn't have national laws for drinking water quality. The federal government publishes guidelines. Provincial and municipal governments decide how to implement and enforce the guidelines.

You have to ensure the safety of your well water. Water that looks or tastes strange is unpleasant. It could also be a health hazard.

Water well testing in Alberta can identify problems with your water and suggest solutions. Learn more about the top signs telling you to test your water.

Your Water Looks Strange

Changes in the way your water looks are a sure sign you should test your well water. Contaminants can cause the water to appear discoloured or cloudy.


The colour of the water can show which contaminants are present. Rusty, red discolouration is often the result of iron or manganese. When bacteria combine with iron, manganese, and oxygen, the water will look yellowish. Copper can cause water to look blue or green.

Cloudy Water

Cloudy water has many possible causes. Dirt is one obvious culprit. Problems with your well pump system could let dirt and sediment get into the water. High levels of calcium and magnesium in the water can make it appear cloudy. This is known as hard water.

Sodium chloride (salt) can leave a white residue in the water. Saltwater intrusion is common in homes near the sea. It also happens when runoff from road salt mixes with the groundwater.

Your Water Has a Foul Odour

Water that smells like sulphur or rotten eggs is usually a sign of hydrogen sulphide gas. The gas can occur naturally from chemical reactions with soil and rocks.

Sulphur bacteria are another common cause of this unpleasant odour. Bacteria give off gas as a waste product. In a closed-water system, the gas accumulates and causes a sulphur smell.

Your Water Has an Unpleasant Taste

An unpleasant taste can indicate contaminated water. High levels of iron and manganese can cause a metallic taste. Agricultural runoff or industrial pollutants are other possible causes.

Elevated chloride in the water can make it taste salty. Chloride can get into the water from seawater, runoff, or pollution. Sulfates from rocks and soil can also cause a salty taste.

A musty or earthy taste is often the result of sediment in your groundwater. Algae can also cause this problem.

Importance of Water Well Testing in Alberta

Well water that looks, smells, or tastes strange can be a sign of contamination. Some of these problems are unpleasant but not dangerous. Others can pose a serious health hazard.

You often can't see or smell bacteria that cause water borne illnesses. This makes water well testing even more important.

The government recommends testing your well water at least once a year. You should test the water more often if your household includes people at higher risk of infection.

Find the Right Well Water Testing Services

Water well testing in Alberta is essential for your health. It helps ensure you can fully enjoy and use your water.

Aaron Drilling has been serving customers in Calgary and southern Alberta since 1979. Our professional and reliable team offers cost-effective solutions for your well pump system needs. We can handle emergency or routine testing. Schedule your water well testing today with Aaron Drilling and experience our excellent value and service.



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