Water testing | H2O Chelsea

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Have the quality of your well water tested at competitive prices with the H2O Chelsea program!

Did you know it is recommended to test the quality of your well water once or twice a year? Spring (snow melt) and Fall (heavy rainfalls) are ideal times to do it.

Often times, the contamination of water by bacteria will not change its taste, odour or colour. Other physico-chemical parameters (e.g. nitrates, uranium, iron, etc.) also have potential effects on health or water use. The only way to be sure of the quality of your water is to have it tested by a certified laboratory. Do it at a competitive price with the H2O Chelsea program!
Bacteriological and physico-chemical analyses are offered. For more details, visit www.chelsea.ca then Environment / H2O Chelsea.

How does it work? It’s easy!

• In advance, pick the appropriate bottles at the town hall’s front desk (100, Old Chelsea Rd, Mon-Fri 8:30 am to 4:30 pm).
• The night before or the morning of the collect, take your samples at the most used faucet of the house which is not connected to a water treatment unit. Remove any aerator, filter, or showerhead. Disinfect your faucet (inside and outside) with bleach on a clean cloth, turn on cold water and let run for 5 min, then fill your bottles. Keep your samples cold under 4oC.
• The Monday morning of the collect (every other week), bring your bottles back to town hall between 7:30 and 10:00 am, with your payment (exact cash or cheque to the Municipality of Chelsea).

You will receive your results from the lab within one week (bacteria) or two (physico-chemistry). If your water is not potable, the laboratory will notify you by phone within 24 hours of the analysis.

What is H2O Chelsea ? 

The H2O Chelsea program was first started in 2003 with the aim of acquiring knowledge and a management model of water on its territory. The program depends on a community supervisory approach (involving volunteer citizens and a university), research and awareness of water resources (surface and groundwater). The program implements specific tools from the implementation of a sampling program, laboratory analysis to information processing and dissemination (public presentations, geomatics tools and website).

From 2010 to 2013, the MRC had implemented the project throughout its territory, joining seven municipalities. However, the MRC has resigned in the summer of 2013. Being first and foremost an initiative of the Municipality of Chelsea, the project is set to relaunch in 2014 by the Municipality of Chelsea and, at the general request of the population.

Chelsea formed an association with Bio-Services to obtain the laboratory analysis service of water. Bio-Services is a competent laboratory, accredited and already engaged in similar projects to H2O Chelsea in the Laurentians region. To visit their website, click here. They will answer your questions efficiently with a team of experts in chemistry and microbiology at their toll free number 1-877-326-8690.

Recommended analysis frequency and parameters 


Private well (less than 20 persons)

The most important periods to analyze well water are in spring (after snow melt) and fall. It is also recommended to analyze the well water after a period of heavy rain or after plumbing works. 

Recommended frequency and parameters for water analysis in private wells accroding to the provincial Regulation respecting the quality of drinking water (except for radon). 

Recommended frequency




2 times / year

- Early spring


Total Coliforms. Enterococci bacteria, E.coli, Etypical colonies

Kit1 - Bacteria


1 time / year


Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Boron, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Cyanide, Fluoride, Lead, Mercury, Nitrites-Nitrates, Sélénium, Uranium

Kit 2  – Health


1 time / year

-When needed

Alkalinity, Calcium, total hardness, iron, H2S (as hydrogen sulfide), magnesium, manganese, sodium, sulfates

Kit 3 - Esthetical


1 time/year

-Early spring 

Nitrites-Nitrates (NO2-NO3) Kit A - Nitrites-Nitrates 15$
When needed Radon in water Radon in water kit 65$


















Wells supplying more than 20 persons 

Recommended frequency and parameters for water analysis for wells supplying more than 20 persons according to the provincial Regulation respecting the quality of drinking water

Recommended frequency and period of analysis




1 time/ trimester

- Starting on January 1th, April 1th, July 1th, and October 1th, with an interval of 2 months between sampling dates

Nitrite, Nitrate Kit A (1 bottle) $15

1 time / year

- Annually between July 1th and October 1th.

Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Bore, Cadmium, Chrome, Cyanide, Fluoride, Mercury, Selenium et Uranium Kit B (3 bottles) $95

1 time / trimester required for chlorination systems serving more than one building

- Starting on January 1th, April 1th, July 1th, and October 1th, with an interval of 2 months between sampling dates.

Trihalomethanes (THMs)  Kit C (3 bottles) $110
1 time/ month Turbidity Kit D (1 bottle) $12

2 times / year

- Between July 1th and October 1th.

Copper, Lead*** Kit E (2 bottle) $81
2 times / month Total Coliforms, Enterococcus bacteria, E.Coli, Atypical bacteria Kit 1 (1 bottle) $40
As needed  Radon in water Radon Kit $58























(*) Required parameters by the RQEP and the MDDEFP

(**) Other parameters may be added depending on site specific problems

(***) In the case where the distribution system only serves tourist establishments, educational institutions, detention facilities or health care facilities and social services, the minimum number of samples required for the control of lead and copper is a single sample. According to the RQEP and the MDDEFP.



What are the prices and how to pay ? 

Kits prices are shown in the tables included in the “Recommended analysis frequency and parameters” section.

You only pay when you drop your bottles on the scheduled collection day marked on the 
Collect schedule  in exact cash or by check.

Why are prices higher than they were last year?

Kits prices were calculated to provide a unit rate of each parameter at a better price. By combining all the parameters in a kit, the unit cost of each parameters is much lower than if they were available individually. In addition, for your convenience, the kits have been created based on recommendations of the Regulation respecting the quality of drinking water. Thus, the prices may seem higher for kits but there is actually more tests available per kits, compared to last year when the program was managed by the MRC (H2O des Collines).

Where do I get the bottles ? 

First, refer to the section “Recommended analysis frequency and parameters” section and choose the type of analysis you want to do.

You can then retrieve the collection bottles at the reception of the City Hall of the Municipality of Chelsea at 100 Old Chelsea Road from May 17th, 2014 between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, monday to friday.

Water sampling procedure 

Refer to the Sampling procedures included in your package clearly indicating the procedures for filling the bottles.

* IMPORTANT * Write the date, your name, your street number and street name on the labels of each bottle with a permanent marker.

When can I deposit my samples ? 

You must bring back your bottle(s) of water to Chelsea’s City Hall during the set deposit days between 7:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Bottles received after 10am will not be accepted since the samples are being sent by carriers to the laboratory.

When you bring the bottles to the Municipality, you sign the deposit form (Tracking of the samples) and you pay for the analysis with a check on behalf of the Municipality of Chelsea or the cash (exact if possible).

Please note that by signing the form of deposit (Tracking of the samples), you agree to abide by the provisions of the Disclaimer and Privacy Guarantee H2O Chelsea program. Your results will remain confidential but will be used for scientific and statistical analysis for our annual report.

Interpreting my results 

The Interpreting the results document provides you with all the information needed to interpret your results.

If you have any questions about your results and would like to speak with chemistry or microbiology expert, contact Bio-Services who will be happy to answer your questions at their toll free number at 1-877-326-8690.

For more information, please visit the website of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Fight Climate Change and its Regulation respecting the quality of drinking water.

What to do in case of contamination ? 
How to disinfect your well 

Bacteria contamination - To disinfect your well

You can easily disinfect your contaminated well with bacteria using a unique chlorinating (concentrated) of commercial bleach containing 5.25% sodium hypochlorite. Do not use scented bleach water for this type of application. Obtain fresh bleach because the chlorine it contains is unstable and evaporates over time. (Bleach loses half its power in the space of six months.)

Do not drink water before getting satisfactory test results. Take a test 2 days after disinfection.

1. Check your certificate of authorization to determine the depth of your well. You will find the depth of your well in the report handed to you by the digger. This report should be included in the documentation that you received from your lawyer when buying your home. It is also available at the Department of Sustainable Development, Environment and Addressing Climate Change.

2. Calculate the amount of bleach required in the following table.

If bacterial contamination returns after each disinfection, you must use professional help. Among the solutions to chronic contamination of wells by bacteria include: the replacement of well dug by a wellbore, the installation of a more effective sealing around the wellhead, landscaping to prevent the accumulation of surface water around the wells and the purchase of a disinfection system water source. Please check the yellow pages of the telephone directory for companies that offer such services.

 3. Remove or bypass any carbon filters in the system. (These filters will remove chlorine from the water, thus preventing the pipes beyond the filter from being disinfected.)

4. Pour the required amount of household bleach into the well air vent or by removing the well cover. Wait 2–4 hours for the bleach to mix with the water in your well. Run water through your garden hose onto your driveway until a strong chlorine smell is detected.

5. Use the garden hose to pump the chlorinated water back into the well, flushing down the well casing and water lines above the water level.

6. Run water through all taps until a strong chlorine smell is detected. (If there is no chlorine smell, repeat the chlorine treatment.)

7. Drain the water heater and fill with chlorinated water. Backflush the water softener and all filters except carbon filters. Then wait 12–24 hours.

8. Run the rest of the treated water through an outside hose away from the septic tank system (excess chlorine will kill the bacteria necessary for breaking down wastes) and away from surface water courses i.e. rivers, ditches.

9. Stop running the hose when the smell of chlorine is gone. Run clear water through the faucets. Install new carbon filters after chlorination to avoid introducing bacteria back into the water system.

10. Do not drink the water until test results prove it is safe to drink.

11. Retest 48 hours after chlorination is complete. Two bacteria-clear tests over one to three weeks is a strong indicator that the water is safe to drink.

12. If any test shows contamination, repeat the disinfection process from the beginning.

13. If the water tests are clear, wait one week and retest. Three consecutive safe tests at intervals of one week indicate that the treatment was effective.

Contamination by other contaminants.

For other contaminants (e.g. Uranium, Fluoride and other metals), contact Health Canada or the Department of Public Health, Ottawa. The table below describes some possible treatments for problems related to water quality.


Issues related to water quality and possible treatments.


For further information on disinfecting your well, visit the website of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Addressing Climate Change.

How to disinfect the water in the house 

Contamination by bacteria - To sterilize your water in the house

If the results of the analysis shows that your drinking water well is contaminated (bacterial contamination - Case 1) and the water is undrinkable, observe the following precautions until your well is disinfected and that all danger has passed. The water should be sterilized for brushing teeth and cooking.

That your water is safe to drink, use one of the following options:

Bring water to a rolling boil and let it boil for at least two minutes. (A rolling boil is a big simmering that can’t be stopped by stirring the water.)


Mix ¼ teaspoon (1.25 mL) of bleach as Javex (unscented) and a gallon (4.5 L) of water, and let stand for 30 minutes. A faint smell of chlorine should emerge.


Use bottled water available on the market.

How well is your well brochure 

The pamphlet How well is your well has been created by the Municipality of Chelsea and modified by the MRC under the project and H2O Chelsea and H2O des Collines. All information (or almost) about your well and septic system is included.

Annual reports 


2017 2017 Annual Report -
2016 2016 Annual report (includes historic data)
2012 2012 Annual report (MRC) -
2011 2011 Annual Report (MRC) -
2010 2010 Annual Report (MRC) -


2009 Annual Report * 2009 Appendix
2008 2008 Annual Report 2008 Appendix
2007 2007 Annual Report 2007 Appendix
2006 2006 Annual Report -
2005 2005 Annual Report -

* Only available in French