Drinking Water Program

The Drinking Water Program at the Okanogan County Public Health District (OCPHD) provides coliform and nitrate testing for individual and public water systems. Small water systems are evaluated for adequate construction and operations. Information is available concerning any drinking water issues you may have.

OCPHD also offers a Sanitary Survey inspection which includes both a water and septic system evaluation and inspection. For more information about that service, visit our Living Environment Program page.

Want to learn more about drinking water programs? Follow these links:

Water Sample Testing
  *** For the 2023 Winter holiday water lab closure list, visit our Water Testing Information page. ***
Our state-certified and accredited Water Laboratory at OCPHD in Okanogan can test your water to detect:

  • Coliform is bacteria which can be an indicator of water contamination and a potential source of microbial infection
  • Nitrate, a colorless, odorless and tasteless, common chemical contaminant found in groundwater, which can have serious health effects if consumed at high levels

For detailed information about our water testing services, including where to get the special test bottles, testing fees, locations where samples can be dropped off, and how to complete a water sample form, please visit our Water Testing Information page.

Reference information for private well owners can be found on our Drinking Water Program: Info & Reference area of the Environmental Health Forms & Applications webpage, or on the WA DOH website.
For recommendations to purify your water after a flood, visit our Flood Information page.
Water Adequacy
Environmental Health is also tasked with determining an adequate supply of water is available for individuals applying for building permits.  This process begins with a Determination of Water Adequacy application plus satisfactory Coliform and Nitrate water tests. Current fees for these services are provided on the first page of the application. For your convenience, here are reference links to help you complete a Water Adequacy form:

Well Site Evaluation

A Well Site Evaluation is an inspection by OCPHD that states whether a selected site is suitable for the construction of a new well, or whether an existing well is in a suitable site to serve as a source of drinking water. During a well site evaluation, the land surrounding the proposed new well site is assessed for potential sources of contamination. For evaluations where the well already exists, the well's visible construction is also assessed for potential problems. 

Usually, people request site evaluations for loan certification purposes or for evaluation of and assistance with some problem that they are experiencing with their home's individual water system.
NOTE: A Well Site Evaluation is only appropriate for loan certification on properties that do not already have an existing well and/or the intent is to drill a new well. For properties where the well and water system is already in place, the applicant should request a Sanitary Survey instead.
If you are not sure which service you need completed, please contact us to consult with an Environmental Health Specialist before sending your application and service fee.

Is a satisfactory Well Site Evaluation the same as a "source approval" for a public water system?
No. A Well Site Evaluation is only one of the items required for approval of a well to serve as a public water system or a bottled water/ice plant.

For answers to your questions about water adequacy or water sample testing, please call the OCPHD Water Laboratory direct line at (509) 422-7395

OCPHD at 1234 South 2nd Avenue, Okanogan, WA  98840  (509) 422-7140