Environmental Health Division Laboratory Safeguards Wells and Septic Systems

Environmental Health Division Laboratory Safeguards Wells and Septic Systems

Testing Water Quality Protects Public Health

The Environmental Laboratory safeguards the quality of private wells and septic systems. Testing water quality is crucial to maintaining public health in Will County.

We are here to help you find answers to your water quality questions. We want you to know about the quality of your water so you can make informed decisions about its impact on you and the environment in which we live. Why do we test water? A large number of human diseases, particularly those of the gastrointestinal tract are spread through contaminated water.

The EH Laboratory supports the work of the division by testing potable water for bacteria, hardness, nitrates and fluoride. The EH Laboratory is certified by the Illinois Department of Public Health and NELAC for drinking water analysis.

All samples must be brought in on ice in one of our sterile bottles which can be picked up at any health department location. Samples may be placed in a sandwich bag or container with ice cubes. Please alert staff if you have a hydrogen peroxide system or a chlorinator when picking up sterile bottles. All water from private wells should be analyzed for bacteria at least once a year.

If laboratory analysis of your well water indicates that it is unsatisfactory for drinking or cooking it will need to be disinfected. A useful description of the procedures to be followed in the disinfection of your well is contained in our Well Chlorination Instructions. This document can be downloaded and viewed below.

Testing Fees   
Routine Bacterial Screens 
$20.00
Bacterial Screen with Count  
$25.00
Chlorine Check $  5.00
Nitrate Analysis $18.00
Fluoride Analysis $24.00
Hardness Analysis $18.00

Nitrite Analysis                     $25.00 which includes process and handling fees




 

Environmental Health Laboratory Location

Laboratory Location

Environmental Health Laboratory
501 Ella Avenue
Joliet, IL 60433
(815)727-8517

Environmental Health Laboratory Hours

Schedule for Dropping off Samples

Laboratory Hours: 

Monday-Friday:  8:30 am to 4:00 pm
(815)-727-8517

Fridays and the day before a holiday, samples are accepted until noon. Branch hours may differ.  

Contact individual branches for hours of operation.

Testing Water for Coliforms

Screening for Total Coliform and E. coli as an Indicator of Water Safety

Why should my water be tested for Coliforms and E.coli? Most Coliforms are not harmful but serve as indicators of the general microbial quality of water.

Testing for the Presence of Nitrate

High levels of Nitrate in Drinking Water can be Dangerous to Health

Nitrate is naturally found in many types of food. However, high levels of nitrate in drinking water can make people sick. Exposure to excessive concentrations of nitrate can cause blue baby syndrome as a result of asphyxiation since the blood loses the ability to transport oxygen. 

Hardness Testing

Hard Water forms Deposits that Clog Plumbing

Excessive hard water forms deposits that clog plumbing and requires more soap and detergents for cleaning and laundering clothing.

Fluoride Testing

Proper Amounts of Fluoride Helps Prevent Tooth Decay

Fluoride exists naturally in water sources and is derived from the element fluorine. It is important in the prevention of tooth decay. If you use a well, fluoride levels should be checked by a laboratory. The optimal level of fluoride in the water supply are 0.9-1.2 ppm (parts per million).   

Well and Septic Program

Well and Septic Program

Permitting and Inspecting Activities Related to Wells and Septic Systems

The Environmental Health Division of the Will County Health Department is responsible for permitting, inspecting and monitoring private and, semi-private and non-community water wells throughout the county. No well under the jurisdiction of the WCHD can be drilled, modified or deepened without receiving a permit from the department. Acting as the authorized agent for IDPH, the division also performs soil and site evaluations to determine soil suitability for the installation of private sewage disposal systems. Septic permits are issued and staff conducts inspections of all new or repaired septic systems to ensure that they have been installed and maintained according to the appropriate state and county regulations.

How to Disinfect Your Well

How to Disinfect Your Well

Inexpensive and Effective Procedure to Remove Harmful Bacteria from Private Wells

The purpose of disinfecting a dug or drilled well is to destroy all disease causing microorganisms (pathogens) that may be present in the well. If after testing the analysis indicates that your well water is unsatisfactory for drinking or cooking, the following procedure should be used to restore water quality:

Water Well Safety

Supervising and Inspecting Water Wells

The Environmental Health Division of the Will County Health Department has broad responsibility over the permitting, regulating and supervising of private, semi-private and non-community water wells in the county.

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