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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How safe is my drinking water?
Every day, more than six million Bay State residences turn on the tap and take a drink of water from a public water supply. The public water supplies in Massachusetts are among the best in the country, and they are subject to the most stringent government standards in the world. To protect your health, both the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Mass DEP) maintain exacting standards. The Mass DEP requires your local water supplier to perform ongoing tests for the presence of bacteria, lead and other heavy metals, herbicides and pesticides, and industrial solvents. If testing reveals an exceedence of a federal standard, the water supplier is required to notify customers through local news media. If bacteria or chemicals are found in levels that pose a threat to your health, the water supply is treated to remove the contaminants or taken out of service if the problem can't be solved immediately.
What should I have my water tested for?
Homeowners should contact their local board of health for a recommendation of what to have their water tested for. EPA recommends that private wells be tested for coliforms and nitrate/nitrite at a minimum.
There are many other tests offered by Con-Test such as lead. Please visit our website for all testing offered by Con-Test.
How do I pay for testing Drinking Water samples?
Make your check or money order payable to Con-Test Laboratory.
Can I use any container to collect my water?
No. You must use a sample bottle that is appropriate for the testing that will be done on your water sample because preservatives and the volume of sample required are specefic to the test.
How do I order bottles for collecting my water sample?
You can order bottles by visiting the Client Resources section of the website and then filling out a Bottle Order Form.
How do I collect my water sample?
Instructions for sampling will be with the bottle order.
Does my water sample need to be refrigerated after I collect it?
If you received an ice pack with your sample bottle, please ensure that the ice pack is frozen prior to returning your water sample to the Laboratory. If you did not receive ice packs, you can use regular ice cubes. Some test require thermal preservation upon sample collection. Do not freeze the sample prior to submission. Samples received frozen are not acceptable for testing.
Do I need a form - chain of custody?
Yes, the laboratory will provide a chain of custody to record specifics.
Do I need to indicate the date and time my samples was collected?
YES. You must indicate the collection date and time, indicate am or pm for your water sample on the Chain of Custody form supplied with your sample bottles. Testing methods have an EPA maximum allowable holding time from the time your water sample was collected until the time of testing. Without the collection date and time, it is not possible to determine if you water sample can be testing within the holding time.
When will I receive results?
You can expect test results for your water sample in 10 business days after your sample is received at the Laboratory. For fastest reporting, enter you e-mail address on the chain of custody form to get your test results.