Water Testing Labs Drinking Water FAQs
Why should I have my well water tested?
If your water is supplied by a private well, you alone are responsible for the safety of that water supply. Testing your water will help you ensure that the water is safe and suitable for drinking, identify any existing problems with the water, and track changes in the water quality over time.
Well water should be tested if there is any noticeable change in water quality (taste, color, odor, etc.), and any time repairs are done to any part of the water system (well pump, pressure tank, treatment system, household plumbing.)
Can I have my water tested if I have public water, not a private well?
Yes, we can test your water if you are supplied by public water.
Your water provider is required to test the water on a regular basis, and to provide a "Consumer Confidence Report," or CCR, annually. You may want to request a copy of this document before you schedule water testing at your home.
How often should I have my water tested?
The EPA recommends that private well water be tested a minimum of once a year.
How do I know what to test for?
We generally recommend, at a minimum, a basic bacteria and chemical test. This tests for Total Coliform and e. coli bacteria, nitrates + nitrites, sand, turbidity, and pH. Your county's health department may also be able to tell you about water quality concerns in your area.
Should I order a kit, or have a certified sampler come out to my property?
Samples collected by a certified sampler and samples collected using a kit are analyzed the exact same way once they are received by the lab.
If you are testing the water for your own personal knowledge, a water testing kit is usually the more convenient and less expensive option.
If the water testing results are going to be submitted to a regulatory agency (MDE, EPA, County Health Department, financial institution), it is required to have a certified sampler come out and take the sample. This gives you a more complete chain of custody, and is required for official testing that may need to be defended in court.
How does the testing process work if I order a kit?
We offer several kits on our website that combine commonly requested tests. These kits can be ordered online or over the phone. If there are tests that you would like to have done, but are not listed as part of an existing kit, please call the lab and we can create a custom kit for you.
Once the kit is ordered, it will take 1-3 days to charge your credit card and ship the kit. When you receive the kit, instructions for sample collection will be included. You may take the samples at your convenience, but the samples should be sent overnight to the lab after the samples are collected.
When we receive your kit, we will analyze it and send the results out as soon as they are available. Most results are ready within five business days, but may take longer for some tests. We will mail, email, and/or fax your results to the address/number on your sample collection form.
At any time during the process, feel free to call us 410-643-7711 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
How does the testing process work if I have a collector come out to my property?
If you choose to have a certified sampler come out to take a sample at your property, you must call or email the lab to schedule the collector's visit. We can usually schedule the sampling within 1-5 working days of your request.
Sampling is done Monday-Thursday, but we can sometimes accommodate emergency samples on Fridays for an additional fee. Sampling generally occurs between 8:30 AM and 3:00 PM so that the samples can be returned to the lab in time to be set up properly. We cannot schedule an exact time for the collector to come to your property, but we can have the collector give you a call the morning of your sampling to let you know what time he or she will be there. We can also make a note on your order if there is a particular time that does or does not work for you.
Sample collection can be done from inside the home or from an outside hose bib. If you want the sample taken at a particular location please specify this while scheduling the visit. The collection process is usually completed in less than 30 minutes.
When we receive your water sample, we will analyze it and send you the results as soon as they are available. The results are usually ready within five business days, but may take longer for some tests. We will mail, email, and/or fax the results to the address/number you provided when the sampling was scheduled. We can also send results to a 3rd party (real estate agent, health department, MDE, etc) at your request.
How soon will I get my results?
The turn around time for most testing is 5 business days, however, you should call the lab for information on the specific tests you will be ordering. We offer 1 day and 3 day rush results for an additional fee.
How can I pay for my water testing?
We accept cash, personal checks, Visa, and Mastercard.
Kits must be paid for before they are shipped out of the lab.
Samples taken by a certified sampler must be paid for at the time of sampling. You may give the collector cash or a check at the time of sampling, or call the lab with your credit card information.
How much does it cost to have my water tested?
The cost of your water testing is based on the analyses done. More information can be found in the "Real Estate Transfers," "Price List," and "Kit Price List" sections of this website.
If you would like a quote for other testing, please call or email the lab.
Are you a certified lab?
Yes, we are certified by Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware.
What do I do if my water is contaminated with bacteria?
If your sample tests positive for bacteria, we will call you as soon as possible. We recommend that you do not use or consume the water until it has been treated. A plumber or well drilling company may be able to disinfect the water for you, or the EPA has instructions on their website for how to disinfect your own well. We are not able to provide disinfection services, or to provide recommendations or referrals.
We recommend having your water re-tested for bacteria once the treatment is completed to ensure that the problem has been corrected.
What do I do if my water contains a contaminant in concentrations above the Maximum Contaminant Level?
If we find that your sample contains unacceptably high levels of a chemical contaminant, we will notify you as soon as possible. We recommend that you do not use or consume the water until it has been treated. There are many options for filtration systems to remove these contaminants. We do not provide any water treatment services, nor are we able to make recommendations or referrals.
We recommend having your water re-tested for the high-level contaminant once the treatment is completed to ensure that the problem has been corrected.
I want my water tested for everything. Can you do that?
We provide water testing based on specific parameters you request. We are not able to run a general scan for every possible contaminant.
We do have a "Special Offer" Watertest package (with
or without pesticides), which is our most comprehensive testing
package. Information on this can be found in the "Special Offers"
section of this website.