Clean drinking water is the basic essential to good health

The Oneida County Health Department promotes annual well water testing for homeowners and renters. Various water testing options are available through the health department.  Please contact us for more information.

Unsafe water test results are referred to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources if the situation cannot be handled by the Health Department.  The Health Department and the DNR work with homeowners and renters on resolving well problems.

Water Analysis Lab

The Oneida County Health Department’s Water Analysis Lab is certified by Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to conduct bacteriological testing of public and private (wells) drinking water. The lab also monitors the public drinking water supplies of facilities involved in Oneida County’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) transient non-community water (TNC) systems program.

To maintain state certification, the laboratory conducts required proficiency testing and completes quality assurance and quality control exercises on a daily basis.

Oneida County Health Department’s Water Analysis Lab provides convenient, reliable, and reasonably priced well water testing for both home and vacation properties. This service is available to anyone; you do not need to be a resident of Oneida County. Lab tests completed on-site include coliform and E-Coli bacteria, with definitive results within 48 hours. Through a partnership with UW-Oshkosh, Oneida County Health Department’s Water Analysis Lab offers additional testing options including nitrates, nitrites, and arsenic. Test kits from other public labs are available at the front desk, fees may apply.

Private Well Testing

Water testing is an inexpensive and effective way of assuring a safe and healthy water supply. It’s estimated that 20-25% of Wisconsin wells have bacterial contamination. Oneida County Health Department advises all private well owners to have their well water tested annually for coliform bacteria. If there are infants under six months of age or women of childbearing age drinking the water, the water should be tested for nitrates as well.

How do I test my private well drinking water?

To test your private well water:

  • Obtain water sample bottles, instructions, and a water analysis form from the Oneida County Health Department at 100 W. Keenan St, Rhinelander.
  • Collect your water sample by following the step by step instructions on the back of the Request for Water Analysis form.
  • Submit your water sample to the Health Department within 24 hours of collection. Submission must include the water sample(s), Request for Water Analysis form, and testing fee to the Oneida County Health Department during the following hours:

Monday through Wednesday 8:30 am – 3:30 pm       *Schedule is subject to change during holidays.

Oneida County Public Health Department Water Fees
Private Drinking Water Samples

Coliform Bacteria






** Other testing options available, fees vary by lab.

Water Issues

  • Blue-Green Algae

Algal Blooms in Wisconsin  (article from Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine)
Blue Green Algae – information from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
Blue Green Algae – information from the Department of Health Services (DHS)

Share this information

Categorized as Environmental Health

Contact Us

Oneida County Health Department
100 West Keenan Street
Rhinelander, WI 54501
Hours: 8:00am - 4:30pm Mon-Fri

Telephone (715) 369-6111
Fax (715) 369-6112


To report a public health emergency or to report a notifiable disease after hours, please contact dispatch at 715-361-5100.

Click here to view map and additional contact information.



Mental Health Hotline - Mental Health Crisis? Forest, Vilas and Oneida County call 1-888-299-1188.

Smoking Cessation - Break free of cigarettes. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Disaster Distress Line - Stress, anxiety, and other depression are common after a disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or visit the Disaster Distress Line to talk.

Wisconsin First Step – Information on services for children and youth with special needs, their families and providers. Call 1-800-642-7837 to speak with a parent specialist.

Maternal and Child Health Hotline – Call 1-800-722-2295 for information on BadgerCare Plus, WIC, HealthCheck, maternal depression, Prenatal Care Coordination, family planning, developmental screenings, and more.