Water Quality

Why is water quality important?

Water Quality

Ohio Department of Health (ODH)

In Ohio, many residents receive their drinking water from ground or surface water resources through private water systems such as wells, springs, ponds, rainwater cisterns, and hauled water. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) requires that the water provided from these systems be tested for a few basic contaminants upon completion of the private water systems construction, alteration or other activity under an open private water systems permit.  Once that open permit receives final approval from the local health district, property owners need to take special precautions to ensure the protection and maintenance during the life time of their private water systems. The required tests to approve a private water system permit are:

The Ohio Department of Health current microbiological standards for private water systems are summarized in the Microbiological Standards for Private Water Systems fact sheet.

In addition to these requirements, ODH has established drinking water standards for private water systems based on the federal drinking water standards for public water systems

 (Drinking Water Contaminants – Standards and Regulations - https://www.epa.gov/dwstandardsregulations). 

These standards are to be used as a health standard to guide private water system owners on the potential health effects of exposure to different naturally-occurring and man-made constituents.

Testing for all the contaminants for the federal safe drinking water standards is expensive and not necessary for most systems. The Ohio Department of Health recommends that private water system owners test a few parameters such as total coliform bacteria, E. coli, nitrates and arsenic on a regular basis to maintain a record of water quality and identify any changes to the system or loss of water quality. Good records of water quality are important to prove if a private water system has been affected by a nearby land use activity.  Contact your local health district to learn what water samples they can collect.  The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) certifies laboratories to perform water testing on drinking water, visit the Ohio EPA's website to find out more about DRINKING AND GROUND WATERS.   


Water quality and conservation of our natural resources is our top priority and should be on the minds of all individuals. Did you know that of all the water here on Earth, only 1% is available for human use? About 97% of the water on Earth are in the oceans. The 3% of fresh water that remains, isn't all available for human use; as it's in the glaciers, icecaps and in the groundwater. We must take care of the little bit of fresh and surface water that we have!

The Wayne SWCD does NOT assist in the design of recreational ponds. However, if the intent of a pond is for agricultural purposes, such as irrigation water, livestock watering, or for use as a dry hydrant, please contact us for further assistance. Please check the Contractor's list for additional contacts.