Well Ownership for Realtors and Lenders

I’m buying/selling/listing a home that is served by a private well. What testing should I consider?

Private wells require maintenance, and the water should be tested on a regular basis. Including a well inspection and water sampling as part of your due diligence can save headaches down the road.

Allow a minimum 4–5 weeks for testing. A private (third-party) lab may be able to shorten this time, but some of these tests take a certain amount of time to complete.

I’m buying/selling/listing a home that is served by a private well. What should I be looking for?

The wellhead should be in good condition and up to modern standards.

The well water should be tested following the recommendations on the Well Water Testing page.

The seller says the well has been tested. Does that mean everything is okay?

Do you know what it was tested for? Was it tested by a certified drinking water laboratory? Most free test kits do not check for chemicals that can affect your health. Without a complete test by a certified laboratory, you may be drinking water with contaminants that you cannot see, taste, or smell.

Do I have to use Wake County to get my water tested?

No. But be sure to use a lab certified by the N.C. Division of Public Health to perform the recommended tests.

How can I order testing from Wake County?

First establish a Permit Portal account.

Then apply using the permit portal, look for Well Water Sampling – Existing Well.

Refer to Well Water Testing for more information on well water testing.

My lender is asking for proof of water testing. What does Wake County require?

Please see a description of Wake County's water testing recommendations for refinancing or re-sale of existing homes with private wells here.

Training for Realtors in Well and Septic Ownership and Maintenance

Wake County Environmental Services staff appreciate the opportunity to work with the real estate community in educating homeowners about private well and septic system ownership. We find that informed realtors can be very helpful to both the county and prospective homeowners who are new to private wells and septic systems. There are about 40,000 private wells throughout Wake County and even more septic systems. Training lasts about an hour, the presentation is full of pictures and examples, and most realtors find it very useful in working with buyers and sellers of homes with private wells and/or septic systems. To learn more or schedule a training, please fill out this form. For additional questions, email: wqoutreachrequest@wake.gov.