If you decide to send us a sample for testing, the sooner it reaches us the better. Take your water sample at a point as close as is possible to the location of your planned water treatment installation. Please run your supply water from a tap for about 2 minutes prior to filling the container to insure a good sample. Make sure that the bottle is well rinsed with the tap water before filling with the sample water to be tested. Fill the sample bottle to overflowing and cap the bottle tightly to minimize the amount of air contained in the bottle. We will test your sample the same day that we receive it, and get back to you right away. Please send at least 6 fluid ounces (about 200 milliliters) in a clean and sealed plastic bottle (a small drinking water bottle works well) to the following address:
PO Box 126
Frederick, PA 19435-0126
Attention: Testing Laboratory
For express mail (other than USPS) and UPS please send us an email so that we can provide you with the correct mailing address for our testing laboratory.
We also need the following information to size your equipment correctly:
- Number of residents in the home
- Water supply pipe diameter coming into the home (normally 3/4" or 1")
- Any special considerations or concerns (like a sulfur odor or the possible presence of a contaminant not normally tested for).
Always include your name and any contact information (telephone, mail or email) so we can reach you with the results.
Our laboratory cannot provide an accurate measurement of the bacterial count in your water. The reason is that for an accurate measurement to be made, the sample needs to be refrigerated, with an analysis performed soon after sampling. If our laboratory is not in your immediate area, we will not be able to provide this measurement. You may need to have a local laboratory perform this analysis.
Sulfur compounds can also not be measured accurately by our laboratory. This is because Sulfur compounds quickly decompose and will off-gas soon after sampling. So, to obtain a quantitative measurement of sulfur in your water, an analysis would need to be made on-site at the point of sampling. Based on the level of sulfur odor in your water, we can normally estimate the range of sulfur that is present, and recommend the correct treatment method. Please note if the odor is very strong, mild, periodic, etc., when submitting your sample for analysis.
Iron, Manganese & Sulfur Bacteria:
For an accurate measurement of these contaminants, an analysis also needs to be performed soon after sampling. If our laboratory is not in your immediate area, we will not be able to provide this measurement. To quickly check if this material is present, open any toilet reservoir tank that has been in service for at least a few months. This contaminant can sometimes be found as a black or dark reddish material "growing" on the inside of the tank. If you find this material, take a small amount of it, and leave it to dry on a porcelain sink. If it remains "sticky" after some time, then it may be iron, manganese or sulfur bacteria. If it dries to a powder, then it is more likely a normal iron or manganese deposit.
Tannin, Heme Iron & Organic Iron:
We can measure for the presence of tannin in your water. Tannin can add a yellow or brown tint to your water, and if you suspect the presence of tannin, please make a note of this when submitting your sample. Another type of iron that may be present is formed when organic materials bind with iron. This is called "Heme Iron" or "Organically Bound Iron", a material similar to Tannin. Again, we can measure for these materials if present in your water. Tannin, Heme Iron & Organically Bound iron can be removed by a water softener configured with a specific ion exchange resin.