Frequently Asked Questions about Drinking Water Testing
Q: I am concerned about the quality of my well water. What should I test for and how do I bring you a water sample?Nelson Analytical Lab is here to answer all of your questions on water testing. Nelson Analytical Lab is accredited through NELAP, and our test methods adhere to EPA methods and guidelines. Our representatives can assist you by reviewing with you basic information regarding the type of water supply to your home (private well or municipal), any previously conducted tests, and recommended parameters by NH DES for testing your water. Nelson Analytical Lab has test kits that you can pick up at any of our locations, or we can mail a test kit to your home or business. Samples should be returned to the lab within 24 hours of collection.
Q: How will I know the results of my water test?Nelson Analytical Lab will usually process your water sample in approximately 1 to 3 days. Nelson Analytical Lab will generate a report that outlines the results of the testing requested. Reports can be quickly emailed, faxed or mailed when completed. Our representatives will answer any questions you have on the results and point you in the right direction to correct any issues with your water supply.
Q: My neighbor just had his well tested and the report showed elevated levels of radon and arsenic. Does this mean that they will be elevated in my well?The only way to be sure is to test your own well water. Levels vary from well to well in any given neighborhood.
Q: My water is staining my plumbing fixtures, what should I do?The first suggestion is to test your water. Minerals such as iron and manganese will stain plumbing fixtures with either a reddish brown color (iron) or a black color (manganese). Elevated levels of copper may also leave a greenish blue color in your sink or bath tub. By speaking with Nelson Analytical Lab representatives, we can help you determine which parameters to test for in your water.
Q: Should I test my home for radon?The EPA recommends that homeowners test their homes for radon and also their drinking water supply.
Q: I don't drink my well water, I usually buy bottled water. Is this a safer alternative?Bottled water is not necessarily safer than your tap water. EPA sets standards for tap water provided by public water systems, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets bottled water guidelines. Some bottled water is treated more than tap water, some is treated less, while some is not treated at all. Bottle water costs more than tap water on a per gallon basis. Consumers who chose to purchase bottled water should carefully read its label to understand what they are buying.
Q: I just found out that I have total coliform bacteria in my well. How do I disinfect my well?Nelson Analytical Lab offers simple instructions on how to disinfect or chlorinate your well. Please also feel free to contact any of our representatives if you have questions on the procedure or would like a water test kit sent to you to re-test for bacteria once the well has been disinfected.
For more information on Drinking Water Testing and Standards please refer to:
- The EPA's National Primary Drinking Water Standards
- Example of Drinking Water Test Report
- The EPA's Drinking Water Website
- The EPA's National Primary Drinking Water Regulations
- NH DES One-Stop