Open Data

Domestic Well Water Quality in Alberta - Routine Chemistry


In rural Alberta, 90 per cent of people use private well water supplies for domestic use (e.g. drinking, cooking, bathing or cleaning). Domestic well water systems are not regulated by either the provincial or federal governments. The Government of Alberta along with Alberta Health Services provides water chemistry testing of private well water and information and advice on safe water for domestic purposes; however, it is the responsibility of private well owners to ensure the quality and safety of their water supply. Water quality may be impacted by contamination from natural sources or human activities and cause noticeable aesthetic quality problems or potential human health concerns. The water samples are collected and submitted by well owners through local Alberta Health Service sites for analysis of physical and chemical parameters. Domestic well water quality monitoring in Alberta, includes routine chemistry and trace elements analyses. Routine chemistry testing focuses on the suitability of the water for drinking and household use with two health-related parameters. Trace element testing is only available when there are health concerns or when the water is suspected to contain chemicals of concern. The Alberta Centre for Toxicology (ACFT) has conducted physical and chemical testing of raw domestic well water samples in Alberta since late 2001. This dataset contains the raw well water chemistry results from routine chemistry analysis on samples submitted to ACFT between November 2001 and December 2015. For additional information, refer to the Alberta Health Domestic Well Water Quality reports found at:


October 18, 2018

Domestic Well Water Drinking Water Routine Chemistry Trace Elements Water Quality environmental health environmental public health

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Alberta Domestic Well Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Program

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In Alberta, regular physical-chemical testing of raw domestic well water is recommended to private well owners. Local public health inspectors in Alberta Health Services receive the samples, coordinate the transportation of samples to the Alberta Centre of Toxicology at the University of Calgary and assist well owners with interpretation of the results, providing advice and information to the well owner. These datasets compile the test results for domestic well water samples voluntarily submitted between November 2001 and December 2015. The name of the well owner has been omitted as well as any other personal identifier (phone number, address, etc.). The Legal Land Description of the well is provided at the section level (1 mile x 1 mile) to help maintain confidentiality.

These datasets include the results from routine chemistry testing (22 physical/chemical parameters). Routine chemistry testing is conducted on all samples. For information about specific sampling and analytical methods used, please consult the Alberta Health Domestic Well Water Quality reports (

The routine chemistry testing datasets utilize a value of "-99" to indicate missing information and a small negative number or a zero value (e.g. in the cases of alkalinity, bicarbonate, carbonate, and hydroxide) to represent the detection limit for samples that fell below the limit of detection. This value will vary with the changing limits of detection due to factors such as equipment upgrades. For well depth, a value of "-50" is used to indicate an unreported well depth.

The datasets are provided as a series. Each file in a series represents Domestic Well Water Quality - Routine Chemistry for 3 calendar years.


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