What are the sources of water should I worry about?
Depending on the location of your cottage, you should check all sources of water you and your family comes in contact with during your stay, for drinking or personal care. These includes the tap water, well and lake, and any other water stored in tanks.
Why is it important to test water at the cottage?
Most cottages are located in remote and rural areas where the potential of water contamination is much greater, for a variety of reasons.
The water supply in rural area has a greater chance of exposure to vegetation, livestock manure, agricultural practices and human-generated pollutants that can raise its microbacterial content much above the safe limit of 500 CFU.
The main cause of water contamination in wells is penetration of contaminated groundwater inside the well, because of flaws in its construction, location or maintenance.
And while it’s impossible to assess the lake water quality in its entirety, it is good practice to test it close to the shore, where your kids spend most of the day swimming and playing in the water. The lake water can be infected various pathogens, and is never safe to drink. Depending on the level of contamination and the type of bacteria, your lake water might not be safe to swim in.
How often should I test the water at my cottage?
It really depends how often do you use your cottage. For non-winterized cottages the water quality should be tested upon arrival during the first visit, when you plan to start using the cottage. If you are away from the cottage for more than a few days, make sure you test it again upon arrival, as lots of things can happen while you were away.