Laboratory Testing of Well Water

Put your well water to the test! Free testing is available through the Health Unit. It’s a great way to ensure your water is safe to drink.

Attention! The Public Health Ontario Laboratory is currently experiencing an issue with its well water test results portal and eight-digit bar codes. If your water result has come back as ‘No Data,’ please call the lab directly to obtain your results. Contact: 416-235-6556 or toll-free: 1-877-604-4567.

Service Changes During COVID-19

During the pandemic, the Health Unit is still accepting well water samples for testing at its offices in Port Hope, Lindsay and Haliburton. However, the process is a bit different at this time.

Picking Up Testing Kits:

Testing kit/bottles are available as follows:

  • Port Hope – located outside main doors in black and red bin
  • Lindsay: – located inside first set of doors in vestibule
  • Haliburton – located in the black and red bin situated outside the main door (on 3rd floor of the Dawson Gray building)

Dropping Off Water Samples

You can drop off your well water sample at each Health Unit office. Drop boxes are available in Lindsay and Port Hope. In Haliburton, leave samples in the cooler set outside the main doors. At this time, you will not be allowed to enter the Health Unit office. If possible, ensure your water sample is taken the same day you drop it off.

Drop off your water sample at the following times: from 8:30-4:30 Monday to Thursday:

  • Port Hope – Monday to Thursdays 8:30 am to 4:30 pm; only until 10:30 am on Fridays
  • Lindsay – Monday to Thursdays 8:30 am to 4:30 pm; only until 11:45 am on Fridays
  • Haliburton –Monday to Thursday: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, no samples accepted on Fridays

For further information about well-water testing, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006, or email info@hkpr.on.ca

Picture of well water testing kit, including bottle and form to fill out
Additional Water Sample Testing Drop-off/Pick-Up Points
  • Minden Library (176 Bobcaygeon Rd) – As of September 8, well water test samples can be dropped off in front of the library on Thursdays from 1:30 pm to 6 pm.

Flood Safety

Updated April 15/20

Floods are the most common natural hazard in Canada. Protect yourself from flooding. Know what to do before, during and after a flood. 

Keep COVID-19 in mind, even during a flood emergency. Reduce your risk of illness:

  • Keep a two metre distance from others when sandbagging
  • Clean/disinfect common surfaces (like shovel handle) before touching
  • Follow advice/direction of municipal staff if picking up sandbags at a municipal depot
Flood Factsheets:

For further help, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006.

You should check with your local municipality about flood preparations, including the availability of sandbags. If you are experiencing an immediate flood emergency, call your local municipality or 911.

Resources

Local Conservation Authorities

Ontario Government:

Emergency Management Ontario

Government of Canada

National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health

Smog Alerts

Air Quality and Smog

People can breathe easier when the quality of air is clean. That’s because air quality directly affects people’s health.

Studies show poor air quality (or air pollution) can:

  • make it harder to breathe
  • irritate your lungs and airways
  • worsen chronic diseases such as heart disease, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma
  • lead to hospitalization and death.

What is Smog?

Smog is a form of air pollution. It can damage your heart and lungs – even if you don’t see or smell it in the air around you. Smog often starts in big cities, but smog levels can be just as high in rural areas.

What To Do to Protect Our Health

  • Check on the air quality each day. Air Quality Ontario has a daily health index that measures air quality levels for communities across Ontario. Check also for smog alerts in your local weather forecast.
  • Be responsible and act according to conditions. If there is poor air quality, it may be better to stay indoors, avoid strenuous exercise, and put off doing demanding tasks outside.
  • If you have a heart or lung condition, speak to a health care provider about additional ways to protect your health when air quality is poor.
Additional Resources

Well Water

How Well is Your Well?

Ground water is usually clean and safe for consumption. Because the overlying soil acts as a filter, groundwater is usually free of disease-causing organisms. However, contamination can occur as a result of improper installation of well casings or caps, after a break in the casing or as a result of contaminated surface run-off water entering the well.

Contamination can also occur in wells which are drilled in fractured bedrock without an adequate layer of protective soil or do not have the recommended minimum casing length. Proper location, construction and maintenance of your well is important.

To learn more about drinking water safety, contact the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006 and speak with the Public Health Inspector.

My Home

The HKPR District Health Unit is your health partner for life – helping to protect your health where you live, work and play!

Check out the links to learn more about steps you can take to ensure your home remains safe.

Have questions? Call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006.

Air Quality

Air Quality

The quality of our air directly impacts our health and the natural environment, so we want our air to be as clean as possible.
To learn more about your health and the relationship between the air quality, visit one of the topics listed at right or call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577.

 

Radon

Put Your Home to the Test

Radon is an invisible, colourless, odourless gas. It occurs naturally when uranium breaks down in soil and rock. When radon is released from the ground into outside air, it’s diluted and not a concern. But in enclosed spaces like homes, radon can reach high levels that pose a health risk to people.

In fact, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers in Canada!

How does Radon Enter a Home?

Radon can come out of the soil and water and seep into cracks, openings and gaps in your home. This is especially true on lower floors, basements or crawl spaces. All homes have some level of radon in them, but it’s essential to know how much.

Time to Test

Testing your home for levels of radon gas is recommended, especially during winter months when you spend more time indoors. In Canada, there are guidelines for the amount of radon in indoor air. If the radon levels in your home are higher than they should be, you need to act. The higher the level of radon, the sooner it needs to be fixed!

How to Test for Radon?

There are two ways to test a home for radon:

  • Purchase a do-it-yourself radon test kit (available at most hardware stores). Be sure to follow instructions for setting up the test.
  • Hire a certified, radon-measurement professional.

Based on results, you can decide the best, most cost-effective way to reduce radon levels in your home.

Additional Resources

Lead in Drinking Water

Lead is a heavy, soft bluish-grey metal that can be found everywhere in the environment. It has also been used extensively in industry during the last 100 years.

According to Health Canada, high levels of lead, or lead that enters the body over time, can be hazardous to human health.

Long-term lead exposure at elevated levels can pose the greatest health risk to pregnant women and children under six years of age.

Testing of some older homes in Ontario with lead service pipes has found some have lead levels in their drinking water above the provincial standards. Prior to 1952, lead was used widely in the plumbing systems of homes. This means that lead may enter the drinking water of some older homes as a result of leaching from lead service connections, lead pipes and solder in the plumbing system.

If you have concerns about lead levels in your drinking water:

  • Call your local municipality and ask if your home is within an area that may have lead service lines.
  • Inquire about having your water tested through the municipality or getting it tested yourself through a laboratory that is provincially licensed to perform drinking water testing.

If you suspect or know you have lead lines in you homes, the Health Unit advises you to:

  • Run the water from the drinking water tap if it has been standing for six hours or more. This will “flush” or remove the standing water before you drink or use it for preparing food. You can do this in two ways: (1) Let the water run from the cold drinking water tap at medium flow for five minutes or (2) Take a shower or run a large appliance such as a washing machine or dishwasher, then run the cold water tap at medium flow for an additional two minutes.
  • Use cold, flushed water for drinking and preparing food. Water from the hot water tap should not be used as it may contain more lead.
  • Remove aerators from taps on occasion and flushing out any debris that has collected.
  • Use an alternate water source of water for pregnant women and children under six years of age. This can include drinking bottled water or using an approved filter attached to the tap that meets the National Sanitation Foundation International Standards. This recommendation is especially important for infants whose formula is prepared by adding tap water to liquid concentrate or powder.

For more information about lead in drinking water, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006.

Testing Your Well Water

If you get your water supply from a private well, you need to test the water to be sure it is safe.

Drinking water that has harmful bacteria in it can make you sick. These bacteria can cause you to have stomach cramps, nausea and/or diarrhea, as well as other medical problems. The only way to make sure that your water supply is safe to drink is by regular testing.

Testing for bacteria is done free of charge. Sample bottles can be obtained at any Health Unit office or designated location (link to locations). Follow the sampling procedure and then return the bottles to the Health Unit. Samples will be sent the provincial lab for testing and the results sent back to you through the mail.

« Go back