A clean, safe and reliable water supply is critical. Our firm provides professional well and spring water sampling for a wide variety of potential contaminates. Regular testing is required for public and commercial water supplies and is usually required when financing or refinancing private well water supplied residences. In addition, testing is highly recommended when gas well exploration activities are imminent. (Gas water well testing guidelines) We have a long term relationship with Life Science Laboratories in Syracuse, NY, assuring quality service and a quick turn around time for water testing in New York State. Our office is a “drop box” for all water samples going to Life Science. You are welcome to bring your own water samples in to our office for testing. Specific sampling procedures are required to ensure accurate results. Call or visit our office first to get sampling bottles and to verify pick-up hours. At present Life Science picks up samples Monday through Thursday. Samples must be dropped off by 11:30AM on Thursdays to be assured of pick-up. Most samples need to get to us within 24 hours maximum from time of sampling, or results will be invalid. For questions about specific test types or sampling requirements, or for test results, please call Life Science Laboratories directly at 1-315-445-1900.
We use Benchmark Analytics for all of our Pennsylvania water testing services. If you wish to do your own sampling, Benchmark is located in Sayre, Pa. They use Culligan Water Treatment Co. and Beacon Water Treatment Co. as "drop boxes" for your samples. Benchmark's phone number is 1-888-357-5227, Ext. 20.
More information on how to clean a well that has failed a coliform bacteria test is available here.
A Well Bacteria Test Fails: Now What? is an article written by Gregg Harwood and published in the ASHI REPORTER.
For Coliform/E. Coli testing:
- Use a container provided by the lab. The bottle should be sterile and contain a tablet of sodium thiosulfate to eliminate residual chlorine.
- Select a tap that is free of screens or remove the screen and any rubber gasket prior to sampling.
- Wipe the inside and outside of the spout with bleach, alcohol swab, or sterilize the spout with a match flame.
- Bypass any water filtration system. Let the cold water run for 2-3 minutes to clear the pipe.
- Reduce flow to prevent splashing.
- Carefully open the sample bottle, making sure not to touch the inside of the bottle, the rim, or the interior of the lid.
- Fill the bottle close to the top, close the lid tightly, and deliver NY samples to our drop off as soon as possible, preferably the day of the sampling.
- Record all required information on the Chain of Custody form and on the bottle.
Gas exploration and extraction involves drilling through the aquifers that provide our drinking water, the injection of chemicals designed to assist in the gas extraction, and the release, from deep below our drinking water aquifer, of potentially harmful naturally occurring contaminates. Water well owners are justifiably concerned about the protection of their water supplies from resulting contamination. Homeowners should not attempt to do their own testing because such testing is unlikely to hold up in court if a lawsuit becomes necessary. Our firm provides professional sampling services for those who have gas/water well concerns.
We will test to suit your needs, but usually recommend the testing regimen recommended by Penn State. Penn State offers a three tiered approach, depending on how comprehensive you want your gas well contamination sampling to be and how much you want to spend. Tier I is a minimum baseline test which will indicate whether contamination has taken place, but will not determine the full spectrum of potential contaminates. Tier I costs about $265 for sampling and lab fees. Tier II (which includes Tier I) is more comprehensive and costs approximately $525. Tier III (which includes Tiers I and II) adds VOCs and radioactivity testing and runs about $850.
The PA DEP also offers a recommended testing regimen. It is roughly equivalent to Penn State's Tier II, and costs approximately $455. Adding Turbidity, Detergents, and VOCs, which we recommend) to the DEP's list brings the approximate cost to $575.
If a gas well is close to your water well, (under 1/2 mile), we recommend adding a well flow test, which is a measure of sufficient water volume for normal household use. Nearby drilling activities may affect the volume of water available in your well. The fee for well flow testing is $100 in conjunction with sampling.
This Penn State website has more information about water well testing for gas well contamination.