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Testing Methods


Public water systems, private well owners, school districts, and those concerned with the monitoring of drinking water can benefit from our analytical services and expertise. Now UCMR2 ready!


Public Water Systems

Detailed information on EPA Standardized Monitoring Framework is available for download (PDF).

EPA's List of Regulated Contaminants

Inorganic Contaminants

  • Antimony
  • Asbestos
  • Barium
  • Beryllium
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Copper
  • Cyanide
  • Mercury
  • Nitrate
  • Nitrite
  • Selenium
  • Thallium
  • Arsenic
  • Fluoride
  • Lead
  • Turbidity

Volatile Organic Contaminants

  • Benzene
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Chlorobenzene
  • o-Dichlorobenzene
  • p-Dichlorobenzene
  • 1,1-Dichloroethylene
  • cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene
  • trans-1,2-Dicholoroethylene
  • Dichloromethane
  • 1,2-Dichloroethane
  • 1,2-Dichloropropane
  • Ethylbenzene
  • Styrene
  • Tetrachloroethylene
  • 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene
  • 1,1,1,-Trichloroethane
  • 1,1,2-Trichloroethane
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Toluene
  • Vinyl Chloride
  • Xylenes

Synthetic Organic
Contaminants, including
pesticides & herbicides

  • 2,4-D
  • 2,4,5-TP (Silvex)
  • Acrylamide
  • Alachlor
  • Atrazine
  • Benzoapyrene
  • Carbofuran
  • Chlordane
  • Dalapon
  • Di 2-ethylhexyl adipate
  • Di 2-ethylhexyl phthalate
  • Dibromochloropropane
  • Dinoseb
  • Dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD)
  • Diquat
  • Endothall
  • Endrin
  • Epichlorohydrin
  • Ethylene dibromide
  • Glyphosate
  • Heptachlor
  • Heptachlor epoxide
  • Hexachlorobenzene
  • Hexachlorocyclopentadiene
  • Lindane
  • Methoxychlor
  • Oxamyl [Vydate]
  • PCBs [Polychlorinated biphenyls]
  • Pentachlorophenol
  • Picloram
  • Simazine
  • Toxaphene

Microbiology

  • Coliform bacteria
  • Fecal Coliform and E coli

Radionuclides

  • Alpha emitters.
  • Beta/photon emitters.
  • Combined Radium 226/228.
  • Radon gas

Disinfectants
Many water suppliers add a disinfectant to drinking water to kill germs such as giardia and e coli. Especially after heavy rainstorms, your water system may add more disinfectant to guarantee that these germs are killed.

  • Chlorine
  • Chloramine
  • Chlorine Dioxide
  • Ozone

Disinfection Byproducts
Disinfection byproducts form when disinfectants added to drinking water to kill germs react with naturally-occuring organic matter in water.

  • Total Trihalomethanes
  • Haloacetic Acids
  • Bromate
  • Chlorite

For more information on EPA contaminants, sources, and MCL's, click here


Private Wells

The EPA recommends that well water be tested every year.* for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. If you suspect other contaminants, test for those. Here is a list to help identify potential problems.

*Testing more than once a year may be warranted in special situations:

  • someone in your household is pregnant or nursing
  • there are unexplained illnesses in the family
  • your neighbors find a dangerous contaminant in their water
  • you note a change in water taste, odor, color or clarity
  • there is a spill of chemicals or fuels into or near your well
  • when you replace or repair any part of your well system
Conditions or Nearby Activities Test For
Recurring gastro-intestinal illness Coliform bacteria
Household plumbing contains lead pH, lead, copper
Radon in indoor air or region is radon rich Radon
Corrosion of pipes, plumbing Corrosion, pH, lead
Nearby areas of intensive agriculture Nitrate, pesticides, coliform bacteria
Coal or other mining operations nearby Metals, pH, corrosion
Gas drilling operations nearby Chloride, sodium, barium, strontium
Dump, junkyard, landfill, factory, gas station, or dry-cleaning operation nearby Volatile organic compounds, total dissolved solids, pH, sulfate, chloride, metals
Odor of gasoline or fuel oil, and near gas station or buried fuel tanks Volatile organic compounds
Objectionable taste or smell Hydrogen sulfide, corrosion, metals
Stained plumbing fixtures, laundry Iron, copper, manganese
Salty taste and seawater, or a heavily salted roadway nearby Chloride, total dissolved solids, sodium
Scaly residues, soaps don't lather Hardness
Rapid wear of water treatment equipment pH, corrosion
Water softener needed to treat hardness Manganese & Iron, Calcium & Iron, Silica
Water appears cloudy, frothy, or colored Color, detergents