Water Testing

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The Wampanoag Environmental Laboratory offers water quality testing for public, private, and environmental samples.

About one third of the homes on Martha’s Vineyard rely on private wells as the source of their drinking water.  Unlike water from a public drinking water system, private wells do not have experts regularly monitoring the water quality before it reaches the tap.  Private well owners are responsible for the quality of their drinking water.

Regular water testing helps ensure that drinking water is safe.  Agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), and Center for Disease Control (CDC) all recommend that private wells be tested on an annual basis.  

The Wampanoag Environmental Laboratory provides a number analysis packages but also offers a la carte pricing for individual parameters depending on the needs of the client.  Whether a home owner is targeting a specific water or issue, conducting routine testing, or just curious about what’s in their water, please feel free to contact our laboratory and we’ll be happy to provide guidance and explanations for any of your questions.


Residential Drinking Water Packages


Package A ……………………… $60
Total Coliform Bacteria, E.coli, Conductivity, pH, Total Dissolved Solids. Inorganics (Nitrate, Phosphates, Sulfate), Copper, Iron

Package B ……………………… $95
Total Coliform Bacteria, E.coli, Conductivity, pH, Total Dissolved Solids. Inorganics (Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite, Phosphates, Sodium, Sulfate), Total Hardness, Copper, Iron

Package C ……………………… $120
Total Coliform Bacteria, E.coli, Conductivity, pH, Total Dissolved Solids. Inorganics (Ammonia, Arsenic, Nitrite, Nitrate, Phosphates, Sodium, Sulfate), Total Hardness, Copper, Iron, Lead


Individual Parameter Analysis and Pricing:
Alkalinity$18.00
Ammonium$18.00
Arsenic$15.00
Calcium$15.00
Chloride$15.00
Chromium$15.00
Conductivity$10.00
Copper$15.00
Enterococuss Sp.$30.00
Hardness$25.00
Iron$15.00
Lead$20.00
Magnesium$15.00
Manganese$15.00
Mercury$40.00
Nitrate$10.00
Nitrite$10.00
pH$10.00
Phosphorous$15.00
Salinity$5.00
Silica$18.00
Sodium$15.00
Sulfate$10.00
Total Coliform & Escherichia Coli$25.00
Total Dissolved Solids$5.00

Sample Containers

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Samples must be collected in one of our designated sterile sample bottles.  Samples that are not within one of these containers will not be accepted. These bottles may contain a white powder which is normal and helps with the accuracy of analysis.

Sample containers can be acquired at the following locations listed below during normal business hours.

Conroy Apothecary, West Tisbury

Dukes County Administration Office, Edgartown

Wampanoag Environmental Laboratory, Aquinnah

Sampling Instructions

Samples for drinking water must be collected in one of our lab’s sterilized bottles.  These sterile containers are needed to reduce the frequency of false positive results on the bacterial tests.  Please observe the following precautions to ensure that the container is not accidentally contaminated.

  • If the lid is not on tightly or if the tamper seal is broken or missing, please get another container.

  • Do not remove the lid until you are ready to collect the sample.

  • Fill the container only once, do not fill and dump and fill.

  • Screw the lid on tightly after collecting the sample.

  • If you drop the container or the lid during collection of the sample, consider getting another sterile container to avoid accidental contamination OR make mention of this when you deliver the sample to the laboratory.

  • Bottles may contain a white powder. Its presence is normal and helps in the accuracy of analysis

Before Filling the Container:

  • Remove any screens and aerators from the faucet.

  • Thoroughly clean/sterilize the faucet, preferably with rubbing alcohol. The bathroom sink is the faucet of choice. If that is unavailable, the kitchen sink is the next best choice.

  • Run the water on cold for five minutes or longer.

Collecting the sample:

  • Fill the sample container completely and secure the cap tightly.

  • Fill out the label and associated paperwork as completely as possible and affix the label to your sample bottle. Please be sure to include mailing or email address and any other pertinent information.

  • The sample must be delivered to the lab within 24 hours after collection.  Samples delivered after this time frame cannot be accepted.

  • If you are unable to deliver the sample right after collection, keep it in a refrigerator or cooler until delivery.

     

Turn Around Times for Sample Analysis and Reporting

The Wampanoag Environmental Laboratory will provide a report containing your results via mail or email within 2 weeks of receiving your sample.  

Links for more information on Groundwater Testing

EPA Home Water Testing
NGWA The Groundwater Association
The Groundwater Foundation