Pennsylvania Water Sampling

Sampling & Analysis

Just about any mineral or impurity can be tested for in the water. However the most common sample group is called the Potability Water Sample, also sometimes referred to as “Chemical and Bacteria Testing.” Should there be a problem, water conditioning units are available for any impurity found in the water. Most lenders require the potability water sample, which is $120 with a septic inspection (turnaround time: 2 business days*). It tests for:

  • Bacteria
  • Nitrates + Nitrites
  • pH
  • Turbidity

Unconventional loans, such as FHA/VA loans, require additional testing. The FHA/VA Water Sample is $195 with a septic inspection (turnaround time: 3 business days*) and tests for the following:

  • Bacteria
  • Nitrates + Nitrites
  • pH
  • Lead
  • Iron
  • Turbidity

As stated above many impurities can be sampled and tested. Some other often utilized tests are:

  • MTBE’s and VOC’s- tests for petroleum products in the water.
  • Arsenic
  • Iron
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Radium
  • Radon in the Water

Bacteria is a common failure in wells, and infiltrates through a number of ways. Many well caps are old, and do not thoroughly keep out bacteria-creating organisms. Ideally, a well should have a two-piece cap. If a bacteria sample comes up positive, and you have a one-piece cap, it should be replaced with a two-piece cap. In addition, the conduit protecting the electrical wire should also be tightly sealed to the wellhead. More importantly, most counties require that a wellhead extend 8”-18” above ground level. This helps keep bugs, moisture and other debris from entering the well.

There is a $120 minimum trip fee for all Water Sampling services.

Salt Intrusion (Chlorides) and Radon in the Water Package

Salt Water Intrusion is commonly found at properties near tidal water and roadways that are treated with road salt in the winter. The highest risk areas for Radon in the Water are Washington, Frederick, Carroll, Howard, Montgomery, Harford and Baltimore.

Fee: $175 Refer to Radon Zones Map. (5 business days)

Sampling Guide

Salt Intrusion (Chlorides) Radon in the Water

Source

Road salt applied during winter months, tidal water, underground salt deposits

Radon gas can dissolve and accumulate in water from underground sources like wells.

Risks

Kidney and liver failure, dehydration

Lung and stomach cancer

Remediation

Drill a New Well or Whole Home Reverse Osmosis System $7-10K

Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) Filters, Aeration devices or Water Agitator $6-7K

Who Should Test?

Near tidal water or roadways that are treated with salt.

Refer to Radon Zones in MD Map

Turnaround Time for Results

5-7 Business Days

5 Business Days

What We Test For:

Lead**

Found more commonly in homes with copper plumbing, it is also sometimes required by
VA/FHA underwriters. In some cases, the copper plumbing has been tied together with lead solder. Lead can also come from plumbing hardware. Please follow instructions below.

Fee: $50

Turnaround Time: 3-4 Business Days*

Iron

Recommended in most of Maryland and sometimes required by VA/FHA underwriters.

Fee: $40

Turnaround Time: 2-3 Business Days*

Gross Alpha

The Gross Alpha test is commonly used to indicate the presence of Radium in water.  The test picks up alpha emissions from Radium and other radionuclides such a Uranium. Maps for known Radionuclide areas of Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard Counties are available.

Fee: $175

Turnaround Time: 6 Business Days*

Radium 226/228

Recommended if Gross Alpha results are 5-15 pCi/l.

Fee: $275

Turnaround Time: 14 business days*

Arsenic

For wells located in Calvert and St. Mary’s Counties, the Eastern Shore and the Anne Arundel County towns of Mayo, Edgewater, Arnold and Annapolis.

Fee: $65

Turnaround Time: 3-5 days*

Cadmium

Found in the Coastal Plains, Eastern Shore Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Price George’s and St. Mary’s Counties. For more information on cadmium, go to: http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/cadmium.cfm

Fee: $105

Turnaround Time: 4 Business days*

Salt Intrusion (Chlorides)

Recommended if you live within one block of the water or if you have a well located within 50’ of a major roadway (a result of road salt applied in the winter months).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szBoKVVJLBk

Fee: $75

Turnaround Time: 5-7 Business Days*

MTBE’s or VOC’s

Tests for petroleum products in areas of known leaks and in neighborhoods with underground residential oil tanks. VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) is a test that covers the entire spectrum above and beyond MTBE’s, which is mainly used for finding gasoline.

Fee: $225/$275

Turnaround Time: 1 Week*

Radon in the Water

The EPA does not have a pass/fail level for radon in water.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3VsfDoAJpU

Fee: $125

Turnaround Time: 7 Business Days*

Hardness

Hardness presents issues with the “feel” of the water versus a major health risk, therefore there is no pass/fail level set by the EPA.

Fee: $50

Turnaround Time: 3 Business Days*

Total Dissolved Solids

Fee: $15

Turnaround Time: 5-7 Business Days*

Total Fluoride Sample

Fee: $50

Turnaround Time: 7 Business Days*

Pesticides

Fee: $250; From lawn applications

Turnaround Time: 7 Business Days*

Copper

Recommend testing for lead too.  Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits.

Fee: $60

Turnaround Time: 1 Week*

Nitrates/Nitrites

Run-off from fertilizer use; leaking from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural deposits.

Fee: $70

Turnaround Time: 3-4 Business Days*

Turbidity

Typically from soil run-off.

Fee: $35

Turnaround Time: 3-4 Business Days*

Pennsylvania Services

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Fax: (443) 267-0098