Peterborough Public Health and the Municipality of Trent Lakes have made it simple for County residents to have their well water tested by offering free well water sample drop offs throughout the summer months.

Water samples can be dropped off at the Administrative Office located at 760 Peterborough County Road 36 in the upper floor main entrance lobby – just in time for the change in season to warmer weather and the increased health risks to families.

“Between the snow melt and spring runoff, this is a good time of year to test your water as there is a higher risk of contamination,” said Atul Jain, Manager of Environmental Health Programs. “This is relevant to both drilled and dug wells, but is especially important for dug wells, as they are shallower and more susceptible to contamination. We are happy to partner with the Municipality of Trent Lakes to make it easier for residents to monitor their water quality.”

Water sample bottles can be picked up from the Administrative Office Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. They can then be dropped off Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8:30am and 10am and are couriered to the Public Health Lab in Peterborough at 99 Hospital Drive for testing. In 2018, 192 samples were received and tested as part of this service. They can also be dropped off at Peterborough Public Health, 185 King Street.

Water sample bottles are free and available at the Municipality of Trent Lakes Administrative Office located in Trent Lakes. Samples are time sensitive, so residents are encouraged to carefully read the instructions included with each kit. Completed samples should be placed in the water sample fridge located beside the Building & Planning reception desk.

The well water testing service is available at no charge to all residents and cottagers in the Municipality of Trent Lakes through a program with Peterborough Public Health.

Well water samples are tested for two types of bacterial contamination: total coliforms and E. coli. The presence of E. coli indicates the water has been contaminated with fecal material, which can contain disease-causing microbes. These organisms can cause severe gastrointestinal illness. Anyone can become ill if they consume contaminated water, but the young, elderly, and immuno-compromised are at a higher risk.

To find out how to test for contaminants other than total coliforms and E. coli, contact Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000, ext. 232 or visit

EnvironmentDeb Crossen