water Wells AND SEPTIC systems


Linn County Public Health’s (LCPH) Private Water Well Program protects public health by preventing the contamination of groundwater. Properly constructed and maintained wells can provide many years of uninterrupted water. By following state regulations for well construction, conducting routine maintenance and watching out for signs of contamination, you can extend the life of your well and improve the quality of your water supply.

Private Water Well Services

  • Regulates the construction and installation of all private wells, including water, geothermal and irrigation wells
  • Collects water samples from new and existing wells
  • Provides financial assistance through the Grants for Counties Program to help residents pay for the cost of well abandonment, well rehabilitation and well water sampling. View the Grants to Counties Program Brochure (PDF)

Water Sampling Procedure

Sampling technique is very critical for collecting a sample that is representative of the well water condition. False positive or false negative results may occur if proper sampling is not performed:   

  1. Stop by Linn County Public Health (1020 6th Street SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401) to pick up sample collection containers and request form.
  2. Pick an appropriate cold water tap from which to collect the sample, preferably unsoftened. Avoid swing arm kitchen-type faucets. Remove aerators. Do not use any type of hose and avoid leaky taps.
  3. Turn on cold water at a medium flow for 5 minutes to clear service line.
  4. Do not adjust sample flow while sampling.
  5. Write your name and address on the container. For bags, open by tearing the perforated top and pulling on the short tabs on the sides. Do not contaminate the inside of the sterile container with fingers, faucet or splashing water.
  6. Insert bottle (Coliform testing) into the stream of water and fill to, or above, the 100 milliliter line. Tighten securely.
  7. Insert bag (Nitrate testing) into stream of water and fill approximately 2/3 full. Flip bag 4 or 5 times and twist tabs together, being careful to avoid puncturing the bag.
  8. Please return to the lab before 4:00 P.M. Monday-Thursday. We must receive sample within 30 hours of initial collection. Keep sample cool during transport to the lab. Avoid temperature extremes. Samples will not be accepted on Fridays or during weekends and holidays. 

Analysis will be completed within 7 days of submission. A written report of the results will be provided upon completion. Please contact LCPH to schedule water analysis of your private well.


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