Before you test
Know why you are getting your water tested
There are many tests for factors that affect taste, smell, staining or other aesthetic qualities of your water that are not related to health issues.
There are "standards" for these aesthetic factors for public water systems, but these numbers don't apply to private well owners.
If you have a concern about the taste or color of your water that is so serious you are ready to spend a large sum of money to treat it, then get it tested. If not, there is no reason to test for those factors.
For instance, if you have orange stains on the bathroom fixtures, you probably have iron. How much iron and what form of iron doesn't really make any difference unless you need to make a decision about what type of treatment to install. Knowing a number isn't going to change anything, so why pay for the test if you plan to continue using the water as it is?
Why test your water
Where to get drinking water tested in Oregon
Certified labs are approved by the state for testing public water supplies.
Free Nitrate Screenings
The OSU Well Water Program (that's us!) offers free screening of well water for nitrate at many of our events.