Private Drinking Water

The Environmental Health Division will provide technical assistance to property owners regarding their private water supply. Water supply sources include dug or drilled wells, ponds, and springs.

Testing & Advice

Our Chautauqua County laboratory is certified to test water samples for total coliform and E. coli.  If your sample exceeds the safe drinking water standards we can provide instructions to disinfect your well (PDF) or help you make an informed decision on whether you need to drill a new well, add permanent water treatment components, or upgrade your existing treatment system to better serve your needs.  If your concerns are not bacteriological, we can provide guidance for additional water sample analysis by a certified laboratory (PDF).

Drilling Regulations

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regulates water well drillers in the state, visit their website for more information. You may also view an up-to-date list of registered well drillers.


If you choose to install or are required to install continuous disinfection, your choices are chlorination (PDF) or ultraviolet light (PDF). If your home is supplied with surface water or a shallow dug well, it is recommended that filtration (PDF) be installed.