Home Inspection

A Brief Overview Of Water Testing Filtration Systems

Drinking Water Testing

Environmental Education and Outreach – Drinking water testing and analysis services provided by National Testing Laboratories or certified/licensed professionals.  The residential drinking water testing program includes analysis for common water quality problems, microbiological contamination, and makes recommendations regarding the potential need for water treatment devices, such as: softeners, reverse osmosis units, distillation, neutralizers, chlorination systems, ultraviolet or UV systems. As part of the Water Research Center continuing efforts of environmental education on tapwater testing , we established an education program, testing program, guidance on a treatment program, and a self-monitoring program.

Quick Bacteria Test (Presence/Absence) – This is a quick test for the presence or absence of Coliform and E. Coli Bacteria in your drinking water. Coliform is an indicator bacteria that public water supplies are required to monitor. The presence of Coliform could indicate the presence of other infection disease causing organisms. If Coliform is present, then we look for E. Coli. which is a known pathogen

First Flush and Flush Lead – The dual lead test will test for the lead contect in the water and includes sample containers and testing for a “first draw” and a “flushed” sample when you are concern about ypur tapwater, city water or well water

Water Check 1 & 2- This testing package covers 22 heavy metals and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, lead, arsenic, and mercury. Additionally, analyzes other inorganic compounds and physical characteristics including nitrate, nitrite, chloride, fluoride, sulfate, alkalinity, pH and hardness in your tapwater

Corrosion Check -An informational testing package that was developed for people who are experiencing signs of corrosion in their plumbing fixtures.  This test analyzes contaminants that can specifically affect corrosion.  This package can be used for well water and city water when you suspect corrosion, lead, copper in your tap water



Many countries, states, and municipalities have specific requirements concerning water quality. Water must be free from harmful contaminants, such as bacteria, heavy metals and pesticides, to protect the environment and ensure public safety.


We offer a comprehensive range of water analysis services to help you fulfill your regulatory requirements. Analyses include volatile organics, semi-volatile organics, pesticides, PCBs, herbicides, a variety of petroleum hydrocarbon analyses, metals, microbiology, and general chemistry methods, such as minerals, residue, anions, and nutrients. Each matrix has specific requirements and methods.

Testing services include:

Drinking water – segregated from other analyses to provide low-level reporting requirements; numerous large-scale lead analysis projects for municipalities and schools currently underway

Groundwater – leads the way in performing some of the largest and most complex groundwater investigations ever undertaken

Surface water – uses low-level methods to meet federal or local regulations

Wastewater – offering both pre- and post-treatment analysis to verify permit requirements for discharged waste

Storm water – monitoring industrial and agricultural runoff following significant rain events

Specialty testing – for explosives/energetics, dioxins/furans, PCB congeners, perfluorinated compounds (PFAS) and radiological analyses

Ballast water and grey water

With local expertise backed-up by global capabilities, we can help you comply with local laws and policies concerning water quality. Our advanced methods require the collection of smaller sample volumes, reducing the cost of field sampling and transportation, while still delivering superior results.


Biological Water Testing

Advances in science and technology have equipped the groundwater industry with more data than has ever been available at any point in recorded history. Rapid screening techniques used to quantify and profile the overall bacterial populations, as well as identification of the more prominent bacterial species within water, now allow for a comprehensive assessment of the biological conditions within a well.

This approach was used within a laboratory setting to examine the biological communities in thousands of samples from potable wells over several years. Data from those analyses was compiled to determine relationships, occurrences, and trends that developed with regard to deposit formation, corrosion potential, unsafe conditions, and other fouling mechanisms associated with bacterial influences.

Testing Approach for the Well Environment

Bacteria are found universally—including some of the most extreme environments on the planet—and are part of our everyday lives. They play important roles within the food, pharmaceutical, and bioremediation industries as well as within our own bodies. They exist in soils, air, and water.

The potable wells we rely upon as a source for safe water are no exception. Groundwater wells are dynamic systems which vary considerably in construction and operation, as well as a multitude of external influences from the aquifers and environments they interact with. These variables may result in a variety of conditions downhole that can stimulate extremely diverse and expansive microbial communities.

The water well industry has traditionally relied heavily upon the total coliform test, commonly referred to as a “Bac-T test,” to determine the biological presence within a well. This is due to the notoriety these methods have gained because of regulatory actions put in place by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


Water Testing Laboratories

Element provides full testing capabilities for drinking water, ground and surface water, and wastewater testing provide the analytical results, and required accreditation for testing drinking water systems, site remediation, studies, routine monitoring, or individual projects.

Water testing is an essential element of public and environmental safety and a requirement bound by stringent regulatory conditions. By undertaking water analysis, you can minimize risk and the potentially damaging impact, not only on public health but also to the environment.

water analysis services

Employing a stringent quality system, our water testing laboratories offer complete solutions for potable water distribution to ensure the quality of water for public safety. We support wastewater facilities requiring regulatory approval by testing their water either in its raw form or after treatment to bring peace of mind that wastewater discharge meets the required guidelines and is not contributing to environmental contamination.

Agricultural waters are tested for livestock consumption safety, contamination, and also from herbicides or pesticides as well as irrigation suitability. water testing services extend to ground waters and surface waters. We test them for contamination, either as routine monitoring for landfills and up-stream, midstream, and downstream energy production. We also provide pro-active solutions that prevent the destructive influences of corrosion with our analysis of chemical parameters and contaminants from waters effect on your assets.

Working with Element

In a sea of regulations, Element’s experts are on hand to help you navigate the path to compliance, and discuss and develop tailored monitoring and water analysis programs that meet your precise needs. We actively assist in detailed analysis, provide sample containers, and provide guideline reporting.


Water Testing

More frequent testing should be considered if:

There is a change in the taste, odor, or appearance of the well water, or if a problem occurs such as a broken well cap, inundation by floodwaters, or a new contamination source

The well has a history of bacterial contamination

The septic system has recently malfunctioned

Family members or house guests have recurrent incidents of gastrointestinal illness

An infant is living in the home, or

To monitor the efficiency and performance of home water treatment equipment.

Check with your local health or environmental health department for recommendations regarding the type and frequency of testing specific to your location. For help in interpreting your water test results—and what might be a health risk or an aesthetic issue—ask the lab that conducted the test or your county health department.

Total coliform is the most commonly used indicator of bacterial contamination. The presence of coliform bacteria is an “indicator” of a well’s possible contamination from human or animal wastes. Total coliform are a broad category of bacteria, most of which pose no threat to humans. Some come from fecal matter; others naturally occur in soils, vegetation, insects, etc. The presence of coliform bacteria in well water can be a harbinger of worsening water quality. In some cases, more specific tests for fecal contamination, such as E.coli, may be used.

Common sources of nitrate to well water are fertilizers, septic systems, animal manure, and leaking sewer lines. Nitrate also occurs naturally from the breakdown of nitrogen compounds in soil and rocks. High levels of nitrate in well water present a health concern and can also indicate the presence of other contaminants, such as bacteria and pesticides. Drinking large amounts of water with nitrates is particularly threatening to infants (for example, when mixed in formula).

Typical additional tests are those for pH, hardness, iron, manganese, sulfides, and other water constituents that cause problems with plumbing, staining, water appearance, and odor. Changes in these constituents also may indicate changes in your well or local groundwater. Additional tests may be recommended if water appears cloudy or oily, if bacterial growth is visible on fixtures, or water treatment devices are not working as they should. Check with your water well contractor, state department of natural resources, or local health department for information on local water quality issues.

Water Testing For Koi Or Fish Pond

Drinking water – Frequently asked questions

Do I need to filter or boil my water?

You do not need to filter or boil your tap water. Be aware of door-to-door sales representatives making false claims about the City’s tap water being unsafe.

In some cases, the use of a water treatment device might be justified or could improve the aesthetic quality of your tap water:

If you are served by one of Ottawa’s municipal well systems, you may want to consider an in-home treatment device (such as a water softener) for aesthetic reasons.

If you have a home with a lead water service pipe or lead in your internal plumbing, you may also want to consider using an in-home filter to remove lead from your tap water.

Is the manufacture and sale of water treatment devices currently regulated?

The manufacture and sale of water treatment devices for home use is not regulated. However, the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) in consultation with Health has developed voluntary performance standards for water treatment devices and certification by the NSF is the only guarantee that a device can meet specified performance standards for removal of specific contaminants

drinking water hard or soft?

Water hardness is caused by the presence of calcium and magnesium minerals in water. water supply is considered very soft due to the natural softness of the source water. Hard water does not pose any health concerns, however it can lead to scale deposits on hot surfaces such as kettles and hot water tanks.

Why does my water have an “earthy” or “musty” odour?

water system draws from the River, which has a natural, slightly “earthy” or “musty” odour. This odour is caused by trace levels of natural organic substances produced by plants and algae in the river. The water purification process removes most of these substances, but some individuals may still notice an odour, particularly when tap water is warm


How to Test the Water in Your Fish Tank

In a newly set up aquarium, water testing is critical to avoid fish loss as ammonia and nitrite rapidly rise. In an established aquarium, water testing is important to ensure the continued health of your fish.

Test kits should be considered an important part of the operating expense associated with keeping an aquarium. If you cannot afford test kits or feel uncomfortable testing water yourself, check with your fish shop to see what they charge for doing water tests. Some offer free water testing, or at least one free test each month, or will quote you a flat fee for monthly testing. Compare their charges against the actual cost of test kits.

Which Kits?

Ammonia, pH, nitrite, and nitrate water test kits are by far the most integral to aquarium water upkeep. Hardness and alkalinity tests are useful to establish what your levels are, but don’t warrant purchasing an entire kit for them unless you have special needs such as a planted tank. Phosphate is worth testing for if you have algae problems. All testing should be recorded in a log or journal so that you have a record of what is happening over time.


Ammonia will be elevated during the start-up cycle in a new tank, but can also be elevated in mature tanks if the water is not changed regularly, filters are not kept clean, if the tank is overstocked or overfed, or if medication is used that disrupts ​the biological cycle.


The acid-base balance of the water, measured as pH, is the most frequent cause of fish stress, which can ultimately lead to fish loss. It is usually the most overlooked parameter. Fish cannot tolerate sudden changes in pH; even a change of 0.2 can result in stress or death if it occurs suddenly.


How to test if your water is safe for drinking

Access to safe drinking water is critical — but how much do you really know about your water? Of course, it’s supposed to be clear and odorless, but there’s a lot more to learn about what’s actually in it. It might have excess amounts of chlorine, copper or iron, for example. Or there could be a nitrite, lead or bacteria problem, depending on how the water is sourced and where it’s stored. There’s just no good way to know how pure your water is by look and taste. If you want hard facts about what’s going into your body with every sip, you need to test your drinking water.

I usually drink water from my refrigerator, which has a built-in filter; theoretically, that should be better than tap water, right? But testing showed that the fridge water had the exact same particle count as my tap water. Granted, the fridge filter was old and needed replacement, but the test gave me the information I needed and encouraged me to be more diligent about swapping out the filter. Still, the test results prove the water I’m drinking isn’t as pure as I’d like it to be, so I’m looking at additional solutions to make sure my family is drinking high-quality, clean water.

With a few cheap products and minimal time, you, too, can test your water. The process is quick, easy and affordable. Whether you drink water from your tap, well, fridge, bottle or filter, you might be just as surprised as I was.



Want to know if you might have lead in your home’s pipes and faucets?

Experts tell us that “there is no safe level of lead exposure.” This stuff is just not good for you, especially for developing children and pregnant mothers. The Centers for Disease Control say that even at low levels, lead has been “shown to affect IQ, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement.”

There are several potential sources of lead in your home plumbing that can get into your drinking water:

Service line connecting the water main to your house

Solder in your plumbing

Older brass faucets and valves

To really know what’s going on, it’s a good idea to have your water tested. You can call your drinking water utility or your county health department to find out how to test your water.

Your Service Line

The drinking water service line coming from the water main into your house is usually in the basement.

The first trick—without even having to touch it or do anything—if you see that the service line is a dark matte gray color, that’s usually a good tip that that is a lead service line.

Next, scrape the service line with a screwdriver, if it is lead, the metal would be soft and turn really shiny.

If your supply line turns a brownish, copper color, that means it is a copper supply line.

Aside from lead or copper, you can also have a plastic or galvanized steel service line coming into your house. If it’s steel, a magnet would stick to it. If it’s lead or copper, a magnet would not stick to it.



Water quality is one of the most important factors in a healthy ecosystem. Clean water supports a diversity of plants and wildlife. Though it may seem unrelated at first, actions on land affect the quality of our water. excessive nutrients from fertilizers, and sediment frequently get carried into local lakes and rivers via runoff from urban areas or agricultural fields. This lesson considers the factors that influence water quality by observing and evaluating several water samples.

Performance Expectations:

2-PS1-1 Matter and its Interactions: Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different samples of water based on their chemical and observable properties including temperature, pH and turbidity.

2-PS1-2 Matter and its Interactions: Analyze data from the testing of the water samples to determine which materials have the properties that are suited for certain purposes such as drinking, swimming or cooking.


Develop criteria for the quality of water and understand that there is more to water quality than “meets the eye.”

Engage in a sample of water quality tests used by scientists.

Explain how water quality in both groundwater and surface systems is impacted by land use decisions.

Classify solutions as acidic or basic, given their pH, and classify substances by their chemical properties (flammability, pH, acid-base indicators).

Use tools and equipment appropriate to scientific investigations and make accurate measurements with appropriate units.

Identify the need for evidence in making scientific decisions and then use data and samples as evidence to separate fact from opinion.


Scientists measure a variety of properties to determine water quality. These include temperature, acidity (pH), dissolved solids (specific conductance), particulate matter (turbidity), dissolved oxygen, hardness and suspended sediment. Each reveals something different about the health of a water body.

The result of a single measurement, however, is actually less important than monitoring changes over time. For example, if you measure the pH of the creek behind your house and find that it is 5.5, you might think it is acidic. But a pH of 5.5 might be “normal” for that creek. If the pH or the turbidity of your creek begins to change, however, something may be happening (probably upstream) that is affecting water quality. Taking routine measurements at scheduled intervals allows you to monitor overall changes in water quality.

Tips To Find The Best Mold Remediation

Steps to Proper Mold Removal

Learn about moisture

Assessing mold growth involves more than just looking at what’s visibly growing on the walls or in a corner. Mold can be an invisible intruder, growing behind and around what you first see. Such devious behavior requires inquisitive thinking.

Document the mold problem and create a remediation plan

Before you begin mold removal, document the mold situation with writing, photos and video. The warranty team supervisor will use the documentation to develop a remediation plan, which typically answers questions like when work is slated to begin, when that work is scheduled to be completed, who will be performing the remediation, any testing that should be done, and if homeowners will be temporarily relocated. In the longer term, the documentation can help manage liability for your company or point to larger trends in mold growth.

Calculate the extent of the mold contamination

Mold may not always grow in one area, so you need to figure out how much contamination you’re really looking at. Calculating the extent of the contamination will impact how you approach mold removal and clean up. The goal of mold removal is to clean up mold growing within the home, and to avoid exposing homeowners to large amounts of mold.

Remediate mold contamination

Remediation will always involve cleaning up existing mold while avoiding exposure to oneself as well as homeowners, as well as preventing new growth by addressing the moisture source. Based on your calculation of the contamination area, determine if you’re working in an area up to 30 square feet (approximately the size of a full sheet of drywall). If so, you’ll be following the guidelines for remediation levels 1 and 2. Level 1 remediation is used for small, isolated areas of mold up to 10 square feet and Level 2 remediation covers square footage from 10 to 30 square feet.

Determine if cleanup has been successful

Just because the mold is gone and there’s no dirt or dust doesn’t mean that you’re done. Your last step is to determine if your clean-up efforts have been successful. While this last step is a judgment call, there are some options and guidelines to follow.


What Are The Top Features Of A Mould Removal Company?

  • A reputed mould removal company will be licensed in your city and other areas and insured with all certificates and requirements. A trustworthy mould removal company will have trained and experienced staff that carry cleaning and restoration certification or a similar professional certificate. You can search on the internet for a good restoration and mould removal company and then analyse the results by visiting various websites reading about their services and reach. Most of them state the certifications they have.
  • Hiring mould removers gives them direct access to your personal spaces and fixtures. It is, therefore, important that you get quality guarantees and insurance before you hire them. The company should offer provisions to start the whole procedure again if the first attempt does not deliver the required results. Insurance covers are important to protect you from suffering damages to property or accidents. The company should also be willing to cover all damages and liabilities that occur due to their direct involvement and contact with your property.
  • A good restoration services company will offer a wide range of services including water damage, asbestos removal, fire-smoke damage, construction, and mould removal services. This is one of the easiest ways to determine general expertise. There are chances that the company with many options must have trained and efficient staff. Before choosing a mould removal company, it is also essential to streamline the range of services you are looking for.
  • In situations of emergency, whether it is water damage or smoke damage, it is important that the restoration teams arrive on site as soon as possible. Therefore, a good restoration company will address your response as quickly as they receive a word from you. A good restoration company will always offer 24/7 restoration services. So that you can easily avail their mould removal and asbestos removal services whenever required.


Mold Cleanup in Your Home

  • Fix plumbing leaks and other water problems as soon as possible. Dry all items completely.
  • Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely.
  • Absorbent or porous materials, such as ceiling tiles and carpet, may have to be thrown away if they become moldy. Mold can grow on or fill in the empty spaces and crevices of porous materials, so the mold may be difficult or impossible to remove completely.
  • Avoid exposing yourself or others to mold. See discussions:
  • What to Wear When Cleaning Moldy Areas
  • Hidden Mold
  • Do not paint or caulk moldy surfaces. Clean up the mold and dry the surfaces before painting. Paint applied over moldy surfaces is likely to peel.
  • If you are unsure about how to clean an item, or if the item is expensive or of sentimental value, you may wish to consult a specialist. Specialists in furniture repair, restoration, painting, art restoration and conservation, carpet and rug cleaning, water damage, and fire or water restoration are commonly listed in phone books. Be sure to ask for and check references. Look for specialists who are affiliated with professional organizations.*


Cleanup and Remediation

Mold Clean-Up After Disasters: When to Use Bleach

Bleach and dish detergent, common household items, can be used to clean mold in your home after a storm. The steps to take to clean up mold will depend on how much water damage your home suffered.

Homeowner’s and Renter’s Guide to Mold Cleanup After Disasters

Guide to Mold Cleanup After Disasters

Guidance from CDC, EPA, FEMA, HUD, and NIH on safe mold clean-up after a natural disaster

What to Wear

What to Wear before entering a Home or Building with Mold Damage

Shopping List for Mold Cleanup After A Flood

Shopping List for Mold Cleanup After A Flood

EPA Resources for Flood Cleanup and Indoor Air Qualityexternal icon

If you are repairing your home or building after a flood or hurricane, to prevent mold growth you should be sure your foundation is dry before you replace the flooring.


How Much Does Professional Mold Removal Cost?

Hire a Mold Inspector First

If you find mold growing on drywall, trim, or unfinished wood surfaces, and especially if the affected area is more than 10 square feet, hire a mold investigator to discover the root and extent of the problem. They’ll also be able to direct you to a reliable mold remediation company. Reputable companies work with third-party inspectors instead of doing the inspection themselves.

Ins and Outs of Air Sampling

Analyzing air samples isn’t cheap and, depending on the lab used, can cost $30 to $150 for each sample. Some inspectors roll sampling into their base price; others don’t. So make sure you ask.

What A Mold Remediation Professional Will Do

Mold remediation companies will clean up your mold in a few days if just some washing and removing carpet is involved, or in a few weeks if demolition and rebuilding is required.

Does Insurance Cover Mold Remediation?

Don’t presume your homeowners insurance will pay to fix your mold problems. Insurance typically pays if the problem results from an emergency already covered on your policy, like a burst pipe, but not if mold resulted from deferred maintenance, persistent moisture or seepage, or from floodwaters (unless you have flood insurance).