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  or Victoria Department of Health 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 based on SA Health and Victoria Health recommendations.

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.

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, cadmium, calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, potassium, selenium, silver, sodium, sulphur, uranium, vanadium and zinc, total hardness calculation, and total magnesium calculation.

Step 1. Quote

After we receive your application for testing, we email you a Customer Service Request for your review and acceptance. This is an important step, as we cannot progress the process until we receive the signed agreement in return.

Step  2.  Bore water sampling kit

As per the agreed quote, you can:

  • collect the bore water sampling kit from our Adelaide or Melbourne laboratory.
  • have the bore water sampling kit couriered to your residential address, or
  • opt for an AWQC field technician to collect the samples if you are located in South Australia.

Please note:  We can only accept samples from bottles supplied by us as these have been quality-checked. We do not accept samples that have been collected in the wrong containers.

The bore water sampling kit comprises bottles and a small esky container that is used to keep the samples chilled.

Step 3.  Collecting the samples

It is important to follow the sampling instructions included in your bore water tank sampling kit if you are collecting the sample.

If you have requested the sample to be collected by an AWQC field technician*, you won’t have to worry about collecting the sample or delivering back to our lab.

Step 4: Submit your sample

Deliver within 24 hours of collection - to our Adelaide or Melbourne laboratory.

Step 5. Test results

Test results will be issued within 10 business days of receiving your sample. Reports are emailed to you in PDF and Microsoft Excel CSV formats.

The report 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:

South Australia

SA Health’s Scientific Services on (08) 8226 7100


Department of Health Victoria - Water Unit 1300 761 874

Contact us if you don’t receive your laboratory test results within 10 business days.

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)
Non-metro. Adelaide $399.3$431.97$516.67

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

*Only available in South Australia.

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.