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What & When To Test

What to Test?

EMSL Analytical, Inc. has created these informational drinking water packages, in the absence of any specific local or state analytical requirements, which are based upon the Federal Housing Authority’s (FHA) and Department of Veteran’s Affairs’ (VA) minimum panels for drinking water contaminants.


The results for these contaminants are then compared to the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for drinking water. The same national MCL’s are used for both publicly and privately supplied drinking water.











EMSL offers a choice of 2 or 3 day sample analysis turnaround times. These report packages are intended to be a cost-effective, informative and easy to understand first step in assessing basic water quality. If contaminants are detected, a more thorough investigation may be warranted to determine the source and possible mitigation of the contamination.


When to Test?

If your drinking water does not come from a public water system, you are responsible for ensuring that it is safe to drink. Regular testing of your drinking water can establish a record of water quality, which may help you obtain compensation if another party negatively impacts your drinking water supply.


How frequently should you test your drinking water?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends testing your drinking water every year for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids and pH levels. Testing is especially recommended if you have had a new well installed or if you have made any repairs to your system.


Are you expecting the addition of a newborn baby to your home?

The EPA recommends testing your drinking water for nitrate during the early months of your pregnancy, before you bring your newborn home and during the first six months of your newborn’s life.


Are you experiencing staining, odor, or taste issues?

The EPA recommends testing your drinking water for sulfate, chloride, iron, manganese, hardness and corrosion every three years.


Was there a chemical or fuel spill/leak near your water supply?

Placing a call to your local health department can educate you about the specific contaminants that are related to the spill and/or leak. You can then seek drinking water testing for the specific contaminants of concern.


Are you experiencing unexplained illnesses in your family?

Poor drinking water quality can affect the health of your loved ones especially that of infants, children, the elderly and any immune-compromised family members.

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