There is no need to emphasize the importance of clean drinking water in the cottage. Most cottage source their drinking water from a well on site.
Maintaining a healthy level of water quality with an existing functioning well, is not a time-consuming, expensive or highly technical effort.
In order to protect your well water, start at the surface area surrounding the well head. Avoid spilling any contaminants onto the ground such as gasoline, solvents, pesticides or any substance that should not be mixed in drinking water. If the septic field is nearby and could potentially drain towards the well in case of a problem, maintaining a well-functioning septic system becomes even that much more critical.
A visual inspection of your well performed regularly is an easy way to implement preventive measures that avoid problems down the road.
Make sure there is no substance storage near the well and no maintenance performed near the well such as equipment oil changes or adding oil/gas to power gardening tools. Lastly, check for any gaps in the seal around your well casing and make sure the well cap is secure and sealed.
Free Water Testing
The province of Ontario offers free water testing services for drinking water. For a full explanation on the Water Testing program offered by Public Health Ontario, click here:
Testing every 6-8 weeks is recommended. For cottagers using water from Bobs and Crow lakes, consult local Health experts since this source of water is not recommended.
For Bobs and Crow lake residents, the closest locations to water sample pick up and drop off are:
KFL&A Public Health
1130 Elizabeth Street
8:30-11:30 am on Tuesdays
Public Health Ontario Lab
181 Barrie Street
Monday to Friday: 8:00-4:30 pm
For a complete list of all certified locations for water testing in Ontario go to:
For a complete explanation on how to use water testing kits as per Public Health Unit in Frontenace County (KFL&A) go to:
Make sure to follow the testing procedure carefully in order to not get false readings from external contamination. Health staff often recommend getting 2 or 3 tests done over consecutive days to ensure accurate results are obtained.
Test results are generally available within 2-3 days and can be retrieved by phone with a paper report mailed to your home.
With the increasing frequency of extended periods of drought and hot sunny weather from climate change conditions, managing your supply of well water is important. Make sure that water conservation plays a key role and is ingrained in your cottage lifestyle.