Part of Water

Farm water quality testing

Procedure for testing the quality of water on your farm.

Rural water quality information tool

Online tool to assess quality and suitability of raw water sources for privately owned and operated supplies.


In rural Canada, most people rely on private water supplies such as wells, dugouts and ponds. Quality water is vital to the social, health and economic well being of the prairies and its people.

Monitoring your water quality by having it tested regularly is an important part of maintaining a safe and reliable source.

Testing the water allows a knowledgeable approach to address the specific problems of a water supply. This helps ensure that the water source is being properly protected from potential contamination, and that an appropriate treatment system is selected and is operating properly.

It is important to test the suitability of your water quality for its intended purpose, whether it is livestock watering, irrigation, spraying, or drinking water. This will assist you in making informed decisions about your water and how you use it. The purpose of this section of RWQIT is to provide water quality testing information that will assist rural residents using a private water supply. It provides information on the importance of water quality monitoring and how you can get it tested.

Water testing

Regular testing is necessary to:

  • determine specific water quality problems
  • help ensure you are using water suitable for your intended agricultural use
  • help ensure that your drinking water is safe
  • help determine the effectiveness of your water treatment system

The quality of a water source may change over time, sometimes suddenly. Many changes can go unnoticed as the water may look, smell and taste the same as it always did.

Monitoring your water quality is necessary to ensure your treatment system is working effectively, providing the best quality water for your intended use.

Water quality

The water you are using may or may not have problems with it. Many people are aware of some of their water quality problems. For example, some people may be plagued with high concentrations of iron, which causes aesthetically unpleasing colouring and staining.

Unfortunately, not all water quality problems can be easily detected without proper testing. The water may look good but may actually be unsuitable for the specific application you are using it for.

Proper sampling, testing and interpretation of the results are required to determine the suitability of your water supply and identify any problems it may have.