Bore water testing

Bore water, also known as groundwater, does not undergo the same testing and treatment as drinking water that’s supplied to households by a water utility and is susceptible to natural and human-induced contamination.

Natural bore water contaminants include micro-organisms and human-induced contaminants include chemicals such as heavy metals, pesticides, hydrocarbons and nitrates and even radioactive isotopes.

While bore water may appear clear and clean because the ground naturally filters out particulate matter, this does not mean it's safe for drinking or other uses.

We offer a package of microbiological and chemical bore water tests for private bores.

Please note. If you have a bore that is used for commercial or public purposes the testing requirements may be different. Please contact the SA Health’s Scientific Services on 08 8226 7100 to obtain further information.

We offer a package (see table below) of microbiological and chemical tests for water from private bores. The analyses included in our test package have been developed in consultation with SA Health.

Microbiological tests

Water in bores can sometimes be contaminated by micro-organisms from human, bird or animal faeces. The source could be from a leaking septic tank, wastewater drainage, bird or possum faeces. Our micro-organism (E.coli) testing will provide you with an indication if your bore water has been contaminated in this way.

Chemical tests

Bore water quality varies widely depending on the quality of the groundwater that is its source.  Common water quality problems include high salinity and high levels of nitrate/nitrite which can cause “blue baby” syndrome. High levels of iron in the water can cause iron bacteria to build up in agricultural dripper systems. Other heavy metals as well as volatile organic compounds can also be present due to industrial contamination.

Analysis
E.coli
Chloride, total chloride calculation, fluoride, oxidised nitrogen, nitrate, nitrite
Volatile organic compounds This is only deemed necessary for bores within metropolitan Adelaide by SA Health
pH, conductivity and total dissolved Solids
Antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, soluble boron, badmium, calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, potassium, selenium, silver, sodium, sulphur, uranium, vanadium and zinc, total hardness calculation, total magnesium calculation and marcusolerium.

Step 1. Formal acceptance of our quote

After we receive an application for testing, we will send you a formal Customer Service Request for your review and acceptance. This is an important step, as we cannot continue with the process until this is complete. Once we have received your acceptance, we will be in contact to organise step 2.

Step  2.  Collecting the water samples

You can either collect the water samples yourself for supply to us or have our field officers can visit you (if your property is located in the areas we service) to collect the samples.

  • Option 1. Sample collection by customer

On receipt of your order and payment, you can choose to collect the bottles used for the collection of water samples from one of our laboratories or have the bottles couriered to you. The bottles and an esky container (that will be used to keep the samples chilled) are provided to you free of charge.

Note. Note. We will provide you with detailed instructions for collecting your sample due to the strict sampling requirements for microbiological (E.coli) tests. This process typically involves flaming the source tap (please notify AWQC if the tap is not suitable for flaming), taking the sample in the sterile bottle provided to you and leaving an air gap, chilling the sample in the esky, and most importantly, ensuring the samples arrive at our laboratory within 24 hours of collection.

AnalysisBottle
E.coli1 x Sterile 300mL plastic, with an air gap, kept chilled
Chloride, total chloride calculation, fluoride, oxidised nitrogen, nitrate, nitrite1 x 350mL plastic, with no air gap, kept chilled
Volatile organic compounds This is only deemed necessary for bores within metropolitan Adelaide by SA Health1 x 500mL Glass, with no air gap, kept chilled
pH, conductivity and total dissolved Solids1 x 250mL plastic, with no air gap, kept chilled
Antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, soluble boron, badmium, calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, potassium, selenium, silver, sodium, sulphur, uranium, vanadium and zinc, total hardness calculation, total magnesium calculation and marcusolerium.1 x 250mL HDPE RO-rinsed Bottle, kept chille

You will need to organise delivery of the samples in the esky to our laboratory.

  • Option 2. Sample collection by AWQC Field Services Officers

Alternatively, we can arrange for water samples be collected by AWQC Field Services Officers at an extra cost. A Customer Service Officer will contact you via email or phone to arrange the collection of samples. Following collection, the samples will be transported to our laboratory in an AWQC refrigerated vehicle.

Step 3. Receiving your results

Following testing, we will provide you with a report within 10 working days that will let you compare your results to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

How do I know if the water is safe for use?

AWQC cannot interpret the water quality test results. For interpretation of the test results, please contact the SA Health’s Scientific Services on 08 8226 7100.

For further information, please refer to the SA Health website ‘Bore Water Testing’ or telephone 08 8226 7100.

Customer  collects  water samples.  Sample  bottle set collected from our laboratoriesCustomer  collects  water samples.  Sample  bottle set couriered to customerAWQC field  services officer collects  samples
Metropolitan Adelaide, as described with the red lines in this map.
Includes testing for volatile organic compounds (as deemed necessary for bores within metropolitan Adelaide by SA Health)
$726.55$746.24$806.52
Non-metro. Adelaide$503.36$409.97$384.67

Prices are inc.GST and for testing one sample set only. Please contact AWQC (customerservice@awqc.com.au or telephone 1300 653 366) for prices for additional sample sets.

To proceed with testing

To proceed with testing please complete the application form below.

Soon after receipt of your application, we will email you a formal Customer Service Request (CSR) for your review and acceptance. The CSR will describe a proposed sample date (if you have opted to have the sample collected by AWQC Field Officers) and the tests we will perform. Following your review of the information in the CSR, you will will need to provide us a response to our email confirming the details are correct or advising us of any changes before we can accept your application.

Have you used our testing services before *
Customer to collect water samples
Samples to be collected by AWQC field services *

^ Please note.  AWQC Field Services are unable to service all regional areas. Following receipt of your application, we will advise you if we cannot collect samples from your property.