This is a legacy version of the WELL Building Standard. Please check the latest version here.

Fundamental water quality

Fundamental water quality


To limit the presence of sediment and water-borne pathogens in water designated for human contact.

The cold water supplying a coffee maker would be within the scope of water quality testing. If the machine is operated by filling with water, the source of such water should be tested. The coffee itself would not be tested for water contaminants as the heating or steaming changes its composition.

Water testing is performed at drinking water locations (i.e. sinks, water fountains) by collecting water samples to be reviewed in an offsite lab. A complete description of the sampling protocol and the field equipment specifications and methodologies can be viewed in the WELL Performance Verification Guidebook.

Preliminary water quality testing may provide useful feedback for the project team during the integrative design process. However, the official water testing will be performed by the WELL Performance Testing Agent during the WELL Performance Verification stage of the WELL Certification process. While preliminary testing is not required by projects, the field equipment specifications and methodologies followed by the WELL Performance Testing Agent can be found in the WELL Performance Verification Guidebook.

Per the WELL Core & Shell matrix, the building is required to implement WELL requirements for the extent of developer buildout and have confirmed tenant support. In this case, this means either providing tenants with base building water that meets the feature requirements or providing tenants with the same treatment system (or subsidy of treatment system) used at the point of sampling during Performance Verification.

No, all water, including reclaimed rain water, being used in situations that do not lead to human contact are not required to meet the water quality requirements.

Yes. According to WELL Performance Verification Guidebook, water for human contact is conducted on cold water. However, for mixed water faucets, the hot supply should be turned off. If water temperature conditions cannot be altered, testing is conducted using the available water.

No. If the restrooms are outside the WELL project boundary, the project is not required to meet the water quality requirements at these locations. Performance testing would only occur in fixtures within the project space. However, if the tenant space does not have a drinking fixture, the next closest fixture would be tested (for example: bathroom fixtures outside of the project boundary).

Contaminants in the water can be mitigated through the use of filtration. Feature 36 Water Treatment, provides further information about different filtration strategies a project can pursue to improve the water quality.