For new homeowners who have only experienced the municipal water supply, it can be easy to
overlook the specifics of owning a well. If you are purchasing a home with a well, it is important
to schedule a well inspection along with the traditional pre-purchase home inspection.
Why Do You Need a Well Inspection?
Under the Private Well Testing Act, the state of New Jersey requires property owners that get
drinking water from a private well to obtain a well inspection prior to the final sale of the home.
The act states that any homeowner with a single private well, or a home drawing water from a
small well that does not serve more than an average of 25 people daily, must schedule an
inspection before sale.
New Jersey considers inspection a condition of the final sale. If the home you are buying uses a
well, both you and the seller must receive the results of testing before the sale can take place.
You must also sign a document that states you have reviewed such testing.
What Can Well Inspections Reveal?
Primarily, well inspections test the quality of the drinking water. All wells in New Jersey must be
tested for total coliform bacteria, pH, iron, manganese, lead, nitrates, and all volatile organic
compounds (known as VOCs). Most realtors recommend you have well water tested for radon,
chlorine and fluoride levels, as well as other chemicals.
Another purpose for a well inspection is to determine the capacity of the well, the quality of the
well’s pump and other equipment. If the equipment is old, ineffective, or damaged, you may
want to request repairs to the well be included in the final sale contract. Scheduling an inspection
of the well’s mechanics can prevent you from paying for damages after you own the home.
In summary, it is important that you ensure inspection of your new home’s well water, and the
well itself. State law requires certain water quality testing, and other tests, such as radon tests and
well mechanical inspections, and these tests can prevent illness and extra expenses to you and