|Total coliform and E. coli bacteria
Basic potability test recommended annually by NYS Department of Health
|Nitrate + Nitrite (as N)||$30|
|pH (certification no longer required)||$10|
|Total Dissolved Solids||$20|
|Specific Conductance (Conductivity)||$12|
|Methylene Blue Active Substances (MBAS) (detergents)||$45|
|Langelier’s Index (corrosivity)||$75|
Not sure what to test your water for? Check our Frequently Asked Questions page for guidance.
Need to have someone collect a water sample for you? Field sampling is available for a flat-rate collection and travel fee of $60 within Tompkins County. Outside of Tompkins County, travel is charged at $35/hr and $0.55/mile based on Google Maps (with a minimum of $60 total).
|Metals (Lead, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Sodium, Barium, Strontium, most other metals)||$25 – first metal
$18 – each add’l
|Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Includes BTEX +50 more chemicals||$113|
|Methane (natural gas)||$104|
|Gross alpha & beta radioactivity||$45|
|Radium 226 & Radium 228||$170|
|Haloacetic Acids (HAAs)||$113|
Other subcontract tests are available upon request. Contact us for further information and pricing.
Not sure what to test your water for? Check our Frequently Asked Questions for guidance.
Need to have someone collect a water sample for you? Field sampling is available for a flat-rate collection and travel fee of $60 within Tompkins County. Outside of Tompkins County, travel is charged at $35/hr and $0.55/mile based on Google Maps (with a minimum of $60).
While there are many tests that can be performed to determine suitability of water for drinking, the most serious potential health risk is from bacteria. The New York State Department of Health uses the Total coliform/E. coli test as the “basic potability test”, in other words, to determine if water is safe for drinking. The Total coliform/E. coli test gives results in terms of “present” or “absent” per 100 ml of water sample. The allowed level is “absent”, or zero bacteria colonies per 100 ml of water sample. The Total coliform/E. coli test is an indicator test – if bacteria can enter your well, other contaminants can also get in.
It depends on many factors. If you are on a municipal water supply, it is probably not necessary for you to test your water. Your water supplier tests the water on a regular basis and would notify you if it was not safe for drinking. You should receive an Annual Report of Drinking Water Quality in the mail once a year, often with your water bill. Contact your water supplier or local health department to find out about your municipal water quality. One exception to this is testing for lead (see below).
If you have a private well, the New York State Department of Health recommends testing your water annually for Total coliform/E. coli bacteria. If you live in an agricultural area, it is recommended to test your water annually for nitrate, which is associated with fertilizers in agricultural runoff.
Regardless of whether you are on a municipal supply or a private well, if the plumbing in your home or that connects your home to a municipal water system is older than 1986, you should test for lead. Lead pipes and solder were banned in New York in 1986. If you are unsure of the age of your pipes and solder and your home is older than 1986, you should test for lead.
Beyond these three tests, choosing what to test your water for depends on many factors. Knowing the current and historical land use in your area is very helpful to determining what water tests you need. In general, if there are not any industrial activities (current or past) then you probably don’t need to be concerned about toxic chemicals in your well. Naturally occurring metals like iron, manganese, and arsenic may be elevated due to local geology. Contact your county health department to ask about local contaminants of concern.
Decide what you are testing your water for:
For more guidance about undesirable water quality and what to test for, visit the EPA website: http://water.epa.gov/drink/info/well/faq.cfm#q1
Microbiological Analyst Michi Schulenberg tests drinking water samples for coliform bacteria.