Private Wells

How to get water test results in the event of a postal strike

  1. Phone - Have the barcode number from your sample bottle ready and call the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) at: 1-877-723-3426 (TTY 1-866-828-2238)
  2. Pick up - If you indicated on the form you want to pick up the report, water tests can be picked up at the laboratory Monday to Friday - 8 am to 5 pm with photo ID. If picking up on behalf of the submitter, bring a Potability of Water Release Form available at that is signed by the person whose name appears on the form.
  3. Special Notification - Water test results that are positive for E. coli or overgrown will be sent to the submitter by courier if a street address has been provided.

Download the instructions in English & French (PDF,  377 KB)

Many rural residents rely on private wells and cisterns as their drinking water source. In Hamilton, we estimate that there are about 10,000 private wells and cisterns in use.

The condition of water wells and safety of it's water is the responsibility of the well owner. Unacceptable levels of bacteria, such as E.coli can contaminate a private water supply and put the health of those who use it at risk. Even a very small change in the well's structure, such as crack or a change in the environment such as heavy rain can result in significant changes to water quality.  Public Health Services recommends private well and cistern owners do regular bacterial testing of their well and cistern water

Contact the Water Wells Help Desk at the Ontario Ministry of the Environment if you have questions or are looking for information about:

  • your individual water well drilling records
  • materials for wells such as well tags, well record forms, homeowner packages
  • licensing associated with well construction
  • submission of completed water well records
  • follow-up actions for well owners with poor water quality tests
  • regulatory requirements under Regulation 903 (Wells) under the Ontario Water Resources Act.

Water Wells Help Desk
Phone: 1-888-396-9355
Fax: 416-235-5960

Abandoned wells

If you have an abandoned well that is no longer in use, check for funding to decommission your well. All abandoned wells raise health, safety and environmental concerns. Contaminated surface water, agricultural runoff and effluent from private sewage disposal systems can enter the groundwater through abandoned wells and cause pollution of other wells in the area used for drinking water.