We offer a basic package for testing that includes the parameters noted in the table below. These tests cover the more commonly requested parameters in drinking water.
If you require specific tests, you can select from our ala carte menu:
*Note: Total Coliform analysis is subcontracted to ETP Laboratories in Wilowbrook, IL. Although we can provide the sample container and accept the sample for analysis, we encourage you to go directly to ETP for this service since the sample needs to be analyzed within 30 hours of collection. (This test does require a special sterile container.)
Which tests should you select? First Environmental is unable to provide you with medical advice or water treatment advice. What we do provide is fast and accurate laboratory data that can assist the experts in those areas.
The following is a summary of each of the parameters in the basic list. To find out more information, go to water.epa.gov/drink/info/well/ where there is a wealth of information concerning private well water and drinking water.
Total Coliform bacteria are used to indicate whether other potentially harmful bacteria may be present. Coliforms are naturally present in the environment as well as in feces. Fecal coliforms and E. coli only come from human and animal fecal waste.
Hardness measures the soap-consuming capacity and scale-forming tendencies of the water supply. Total hardness is expressed as mg/L (ppm). Hardness is directly related to the amount of calcium and magnesium in the water.
pH is a measurement of how alkaline or acidic the water is. A pH of 7 is considered neutral. pH values below 7 are acidic and values above 7 are alkaline (basic). The typical safe range for drinking water is 6.5 to 8.5
Nitrates: The greatest use of nitrates is as a fertilizer. Infants below six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the maximum contaminant level (MCL) could become seriously ill and, if not untreated, may die. The EPA has set the MCL at 10mg/L
Arsenic: Some people who drink water containing arsenic in excess of the MCL for many years could experience skin damage or problems with their circulatory system, and may have an increased risk of getting caner. The EPA has set the MCL at 0.010 mg/L.
Lead is a toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around homes. Even at low levels, lead may cause a range of health effects including behavioral problems and learning disabilities. Children six years old and under are most at risk because this is when the brain is developing. One source of lead exposure in drinking water is from lead-solder pipes in older homes. The EPA has set an action level of 0.015 mg/L for lead.
Iron and manganese may cause staining in corrosive water and will not only affect the aesthetic quality of water, but may also have significant economic implications. Iron and manganese may stain household fixtures, impart an objectionable metallic taste or cause a rusty color to the water supply.
Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium are mineral elements whose concentrations affect the total hardness of the water. scale, caused by hard water, is a mineral deposit which builds up on the insides of pipes restricting or even blocking the water flow.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) This test will check for thirty-six different organic chemicals which are associated with industrial solvents, landfills, leaking underground storage tanks, gasoline, dry cleaning solvents and degreasing solvents. If you live near a current or former commercial or industrial area, gas station, or landfill, and especially if your well is old or shallow, you should consider having your water tested for VOCs periodically.
How do you get started? Stop in any time Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm to pick up clean sampling bottles. (Please note: Some of the tests noted above require special containers to collect your sample.) The cost of the sampling bottle is included in the prices noted above. We will also supply you with instructions on collecting your sample.
After your has been collected, return it to the lab along with your payment and we will have results for you in approximately two weeks.
Basic Package: Hardness, Nitrate + Nitrite, pH, Arsenic, Iron, Lead, Manganese, Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium
Nitrate + Nitrite
Sample Bottle Shipment (If needed)
Metals: Arsenic, Iron, and Manganese
Minerals: Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) includes
36 distinct compounds
Sample Bottle Shipment (If requested)