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Water Testing: Get and understand your test results

Understand your test results

Get your test results

You can usually get your test results two to four business days after you drop off your sample.
 
By telephone
   
In person
   
By mail
   
By telephone In person By mail

The toll-free Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at:

  • 1 (877) 723-3426
  • TTY: 1 (866) 828-2238

Key in the barcode number from the sample bottle (PIN) to hear an automated message with your test results and interpretation.

​If you indicated on the form that you will pick up the report at the laboratory, show your photo identification at the reception desk during regular operating hours (see drop-off hours). If someone is picking up the report on your behalf, they will need:

If you indicated on the form that you want the report mailed or made no choice, the report will be mailed to the name and address written on the form.

 

Understand your test result and know what to do

At PHO Laboratories, we test for the indicators of bacterial contamination; namely, coliforms and E. coli. We do not test for other contaminants such as chemicals. This means that even if your result shows there is no bacterial contamination in your drinking water, it still may be unsafe to drink. To find out how to test for other contaminants, contact your local public health unit.

What we test for:

  • Coliforms. These bacteria are often found in animal waste and sewage, and soil and vegetation. If they are in your drinking water, it means surface water may be entering your well.

  • E. coli (Escherichia coli ). These bacteria are normally found only in the digestive systems of people and animals. If they are in your drinking water, it usually means that animal or human waste is entering your well from a nearby source.

Results:

 
No significant evidence of bacterial contamination

NO SIGNIFICANT EVIDENCE OF BACTERIAL CONTAMINATION:

WHAT IT MEANS

Organism​

Colony forming units per 100 mL

​No significant bacterial contamination was found

Total coliform

5 or less

WHAT TO DO

E. coli​

0

​Continue to test your drinking water on a regular basis to see if there are any changes in your drinking water quality

Significant evidence of bacterial contamination

SIGNIFICANT EVIDENCE OF BACTERIAL CONTAMINATION:

WHAT IT MEANS

Organism​

​Colony forming units per 100 mL

​Significant bacterial contamination was found

Total coliform

​More than 5

WHAT TO DO

E. coli​

​0

  • ​stop using your well water
  • contact your local public health unit for information as soon as possible

Consider using bottled water or a municipal supply if available.

 

If you want to continue to use your well water, bring it to a rolling boil for at least one minute and let it cool before using it for drinking, making infant formula, juices, ice or recipes, brushing your teeth, rinsing contact lenses, and washing food or dishes. Refrigerate your boiled water until it is used.

 

UNSAFE TO DRINK: Evidence of faecal contamination

UNSAFE TO DRINK Evidence of faecal contamination:

WHAT IT MEANS

Organism​
​Colony forming units per 100 mL

​Indicates bacterial contamination from animal or human faeces

E. coli
​1 or more​
WHAT TO DO
Your drinking water is unsafe to drink:
  • Stop using your well water
  • Contact your local public health unit for information as soon as possible

Consider using bottled water or municipal supply if available.

 

If you want to continue to use your well water, bring it to a rolling boil for at least one minute and let it cool before using it for drinking, making infant formula, juices, ice or recipes, brushing your teeth, rinsing contact lenses, and washing food or dishes. Refrigerate your boiled water until it is used.

 

NDOGN - No Data: Overgrown with Non-target.
NDOGN - No Data: Overgrown with
Non-target.
:​
 
WHAT IT MEANS

Heavily contaminated with bacteria often found in the environment

WHAT TO DO
Your drinking water may be unsafe to drink:
  • Stop using your well water
  • Contact your local public health unit for information as soon as possible

Consider using bottled water or municipal supply if available.


If you want to continue to use your well water, bring it to a rolling boil for at least one minute and let it cool before using it for drinking, making infant formula, juices, ice or recipes, brushing your teeth, rinsing contact lenses, and washing food or dishes. Refrigerate your boiled water until it is used.

 

NDOGT - No Data: Overgrown with Target.
NDOGT - No Data: Overgrown with Target.:​
 
WHAT IT MEANS

Heavily contaminated with bacteria often found in the environment and the indicators of bacterial contamination, total coliforms and / or E. coli are present

WHAT TO DO
Your drinking water is unsafe to drink:
  • Stop using your well water
  • Contact your local public health unit for information as soon as possible

Consider using bottled water or municipal supply if available. 


If you want to continue to use your well water, bring it to a rolling boil for at least one minute and let it cool before using it for drinking, making infant formula, juices, ice or recipes, brushing your teeth, rinsing contact lenses, and washing food or dishes. Refrigerate your boiled water until it is used.

 

 
Uncontrolled print copy. Valid only on day of Print: [date]
Page updated on [date/time] 14/12/2015 9:15 AM
© , Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion