Fraser Valley

Water Testing Laboratories

Water Testing Lab Service Area

Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Yarrow, Sardis, Clearbrook, Harrison Lake, Hope, Langley, Fort Langley, Surrey, Vancouver,
 Aldergrove, Cloverdale, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Albion, Whonnock, Ruskin, Mission, Dewdney.

Fraser Valley Water Testing Services

Learn about Fraser Valley Water Testing.  If your drinking water does not come from a public water system, or if you get your drinking water from a water well in the Fraser Valley, you are responsible for assuring that your water is safe in the province of British Columbia.

Fraser Valley Water Testing Laboratories provides water test kits and local water testing services to the Fraser Valley communities including Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Yarrow, Sardis, Clearbrook, Harrison Lake, Hope, Langley, Fort Langley, Surrey, Vancouver, Aldergrove, Cloverdale, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Albion, Whonnock, Ruskin, Mission, Deroche, and Dewdney and surrounding areas.

For this reason, routine water testing in the Fraser Valley for a few of the most common contaminants is highly recommended.

Even if your Fraser Valley well water supply is currently safe, regular water tests are important because it establishes an ongoing record of your well water quality.

Why is it important to retain annual records for your water well quality?

If anything ever causes damage to your water supply previous  water quality records would be helpful for proving and resolving any future water quality issues and will serve as evidence you ever do need to prove your case or request compensation for damages done to your private water source.

Local Drinking Water Quality Information

Throughout the Fraser Valley we may obtain our water from various sources depending on what resource are most suitable and reliable in the area that your property is located.  Three main sources of water used in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia.

1. Groundwater – Water that fills the spaces between rocks and soil creating an aquifer. Groundwater depths and quality varies greatly throughout the area.

Drilled wells in the Fraser Valley play an enormous part in everyday life for thousands of families, farms and businesses who depend on the aquifers and groundwater resources.  Regardless of the depth of the well water testing should be done regularly, at least once a year.

2. Surface Water – Water that is drawn directly from streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, springs, shallow wells or other similar sources.

Surface water is generally deemed unsafe to drink without reliable water treatment systems or water purifier. Surface water systems and shallow wells are often vulnerable and susceptible to contamination and water testing may be recommended several times a year.

3. Rain Water – Water is typically collected from a roof surface and stored for use by utilizing water storage tanks or water catchment system. The quality of rain water is normally better than a surface water or a dug well but may also require water filters and a water purifier system for disinfection, regular water testing is recommended.

Water is in continuous movement on, above and below the earth’s surface. As water is being recycled over and over through the earth’s system—no water is truly pristine. Water quality will vary from one water source to another, often changing with the seasons, and with water quality changing by the various kinds of rock and soil in which it contacts and moves through.

For the most part, it’s the natural processes that affects water quality. For example, water moving through underground rocks and soils might pick-up natural contaminants, even without human activity or contamination in the area.

While nature does influence water quality it’s also important to test your water in the Fraser Valley because it can become polluted by many human and land-use activities, such as open defecation, dumping garbage, poor agricultural practices, and chemical spills at industrial sites, discharge to the ground, such as a privy vault, cesspool, septic effluent field, manure heap, stable or pig sty’s etc.

Fraser Valley

Water Testing Laboratories

Water Testing Service Area

Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Yarrow, Sardis, Clearbrook, Harrison Lake, Hope, Langley, Fort Langley, Surrey,
Vancouver, Aldergrove, Cloverdale, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Albion, Whonnock, Ruskin, Mission, Dewdney.

Fraser Valley Water Testing – Water Quality Tests to Consider

Even though water may be visibly clear, it’s not an indication that all water is safe for us to drink. It’s important for us to know the safety of our Fraser Valley water by taking the following three qualities into consideration:

  1. Microbiological – bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and worms
  2. Chemical Parameters – minerals, metals and chemicals
  3. Physical – temperature, color, smell, taste and turbidity

Fraser Valley Water Testing – Safe Drinking Water

Safe drinking water should have the following microbiological, chemical and physical qualities:

  • Water must be free of pathogens
  • Low concentrations of toxic chemicals
  • Water should be clear
  •  Tasteless and colorless (for aesthetic purposes)

When considering your drinking water quality, in most cases microbial contamination is the most important concern since it’s responsible for most of the water borne illnesses and deaths related to consuming contaminated water.

Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality


Call Before You Dig!

Whether you are drilling a well or preparing to dig on a property in the Fraser Valley – even in the remote areas… Call Before You Dig!

One call from the contractor or homeowner with a dig project starts a process that ends with knowing where any underground facilities are buried on the property.

BC ONE CALL: 1-800-474-6886

Water Testing Laboratories Near You

 Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Yarrow, Sardis, Clearbrook, Harrison Lake, Hope, Langley, Fort Langley, Surrey, Vancouver,
Aldergrove, Cloverdale, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Albion, Whonnock, Ruskin, Mission, Dewdney

Water Testing FAQ

1) Please read water sampling instructions completely before proceeding with filling the sample bottles provided in the water test kit.

2) Complete each bottle label and the water testing chain-of custody form completely. The water testing laboratory reserves the right to refuse water samples with incomplete chain-of custody forms. Contact laboratory personnel with any questions regarding the chain-of custody forms.

For Regulated Facilities, when sampling water from a Chlorinated Distribution System please include your Residual Chlorine (Free & Total Chlorine) results in the area provided on the chain-of custody form.

3) Choose a water sampling location that accurately represents the quality of the water being sampled such as a kitchen faucet. For registered water system samples, sample at the registered locations. When sampling distribution/plumbing system taps, it’s not advisable to sample from an unprotected outside hose-bib or garden hose.

It is recommend that sample be taken from a point-of-consumption such as the kitchen sink faucet or bathroom sink faucet. Do not sample your water from a non-consumption point unless absolutely necessary without any other option.

4) Always remove any aerators, hose attachments, filters and strainers from faucets as they can be a point of contamination. Also remove the screen at the end of the tap, when possible.

5) Sterilize the open end of the water faucet with an alcohol swab; disinfecting wipes e.g. Chlorox; or bleach.  If you disinfect with a match or flame, ensure that there are no plastic or rubber parts on the end of the tap.  Once you have sterilized the end of the tap, do not touch it with your fingers or wipe it with un-sterilized cloths such as a dishcloth.  It’s easy to recontaminate the faucet possibly causing your water sample to be contaminated.

6) Turn on the COLD water side of the faucet and flush the waterline long enough to ensure fresh water is in the line, we suggest this will generally require 5 to 10 minutes of running the water.

7) DO NOT PRE-RINSE THE BOTTLE. Carefully remove the cap from the water sample bottle without touching the mouth of the bottle.  Carefully hold the sample bottle near the base of the bottle and fill to the shoulder (water fill line) leaving approximately one inch of head-space.

It’s important to not touch the inside of the cap or the lip of the bottle – the inside of the cap should not come in contact with anything other than the atmosphere and the sample. Also try to avoid any back splash from sink. Tightly replace the cap on your water sample bottle. 

8) Keep the sample cold (between 2 and 10 degree C – never freeze a water sample). If samples are being stored in a refrigerator prior to shipping the samples to the local water testing laboratory then it’s always a good idea to place the water samples in a clean plastic zip-lock bag to keep the samples safe and clean,  once the sample a ready for shipping they should be placed in the small coller that is provided with pre-frozen ice-pack to maintain temperature during transit.

9) Transport samples to the lab in a rigid walled sealed box or cooler. Transport to the lab within 24 hours
(ideally the same day). Samples expire 48 hours after sample collection time

A: If your drinking water comes from a private well in the Fraser Valley, water testing should be done by a certified water testing lab near you to see your drinking water us safe for you and your family to drink and prepare food. Drinking unsafe drinking water can make people sick. Even if you’re not currently sick, your well water may be unsafe.  Some contaminants found in well water can cause long-term health issues.

A: All purveyors of certified water systems in the Fraser Valley and throughout British Columbia are required to test the water regularly.

This includes including small private systems, such as shared wells, restaurants or trailer parks, cooperatively owned systems, such as strata properties, and larger municipal systems owned by local governments.

A: If you own a private well in the Fraser Valley, it’s important to have your well water tested to determine if your water is safe to drink. Just because your neighbor’s water well has been tested and found to be safe this is not an indication that your water is also safe, all Fraser Valley water wells should be tested at least once a year and some more often.

Remember, the safety of your well water depends on surface and underground geology, the depth and construction of the well. Even deep drilled wells can be susceptible to contamination if surface water enters the well from the top of the well or from surface fractures in the rock or a leaking and even damaged casing.

It’s important to note that a water test report will only tell you about the quality of your water on the day that you draw the sample. Well water quality can also be seasonal. Heavy rain, melting snow, drought, floods or other events such as seasonal land-use may cause contamination. Water wells need to be tested on a regular basis, maintain a file for the water test reports for future reference.

A: What is the difference between the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines and Canadian Drinking Water Standards?

Canadian Drinking Water Standard – a mandatory limit that must not be exceeded; drinking water standards often indicate a legal duty or obligation.

Canadian Drinking Water Guideline – a recommended limit that should not be exceeded; guidelines are not intended to be standards of practice, or indicate a legal duty or obligation, but in certain circumstances they could assist in evaluation and improvement.

A: There can be many harmful substances that you cannot taste, see or smell, such as bacteria and chemicals that could affect your health.

Contaminates can enter a well water both from the surface and ground and can be from natural sources or human activities.

For example, nearby farming and agricultural activities or septic systems, if built or maintained improperly, could lead to increased nitrates and fertilizers seeping into soil and contaminating your well water, even deep drilled wells.

The lack of good water well maintenance may also cause contamination of your Fraser Valley Well Water.

A: There are 2 categories of water tests for well water:

1. Bacteriological Water Testing
2. Chemical Water Testing

Bacteriological Water Testing

Bacteriological testing should be done 2 or 3 times a year. Two common types of bacteria found in water are: Total Coliform and E.coli.

Total Coliform

Total Coliform include bacteria found in soil, surface water, and the intestinal tracts of animals. Finding total coliforms in a well may not mean that the water is unsafe to drink, but does indicate:

1) The well may require improved sanitation or physical upgrades.
2) The well may be subject to surface contamination.

Escherichia coli (E. coli)

E. coli originates in the intestinal tracts of animals. The presence of E. coli in your well water may mean fecal matter has entered the well. Fecal organisms cause stomach and intestinal illnesses, including diarrhea and nausea, and may even lead to death. Babies, children, elderly or people with immune deficiencies or other illnesses may be affected more severely.
E. coli in your drinking water is an immediate health concern and the water is not safe to drink.
For more information, see the British Columbia Ministry of Environment’s fact sheet on Total, Fecal & E. coli Bacteria in Groundwater 

Chemical Testing

Testing water for chemicals should be done on a routine basis, typically at a minimum of every 5 years. Chemicals commonly of concern in the Fraser Valley’s groundwater resources are: nitrates, fluoride and metals such as arsenic, lead, copper and manganese.


High levels of nitrates have been found in numerous wells throughout the Fraser Valley. This usually occurs in areas where groundwater may be contaminated by surface activities such as agriculture or farming, drilled wells can be susceptible but shallow wells are especially vulnerable to nitrate contamination.


Since well water comes from the underground, different metals in the soil and rock can leach or dissolved into the water. Some metals, such as arsenic can have serious and long-term health effects if they are found in high amounts.

A: Local Water Well Pros drillers are educated and certified under the BC well drillers apprenticeship program must abide by or exceed the water well drilling regulations for British Columbia.

A: Arsenic is known to cause cancer, as well as many other serious health problems. Arsenic levels tend to be higher in drinking water that comes from groundwater sources, such as water wells, as opposed to water from surface sources, such as lakes or reservoirs.

Arsenic is a natural element that can be found in rocks and soil, water, air, and in plants and animals. It can also be released into the environment from some agricultural and industrial sources.

Other metals such as lead, and copper can also leach out of pipes and soldered joints. Water of low PH will typically be much more aggressive. For some, but not all metals, you may notice taste, odor, or staining of fixtures.

Local Water Well Pros

Fraser Valley Water Testing Services

Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Yarrow, Sardis, Clearbrook, Harrison Lake, Hope, Langley, Fort Langley, Surrey, Vancouver,
Aldergrove, Cloverdale, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Albion, Whonnock, Ruskin, Mission, Dewdne