The Public Service Laboratory chemists analyze each sample differently, depending on where the water came from, how it will be used, and the symptoms of the problem. Although each analysis is tailored to the water being tested, typical parameters checked are calcium, magnesium, iron, arsenic, manganese, sodium, hardness, total dissolved solids, alkalinity, color, turbidity, fluoride, chloride, nitrate, and sulfate.
To request a water analysis, it is best to call the Public Service Laboratory first. You can speak directly to a staff member who will make sure that you receive a sample collection kit appropriate to your situation. They will give you specific instructions on how to handle your sample and how to submit it. This short discussion will also allow us to become familiar with your problem and make sure that your sample is representative and appropriate for analysis. Samples that are not submitted in the sample collection kits with the bottles provided cannot be accepted for analysis. Do not damage or discard the cardboard box containing the sample kit as it will be needed for return shipping and is reusable. Please note that as of 7/11/2011, a small fee will be charged to help recover material and kit-preparation/handling costs.
The Public Service Laboratory does not perform bacteriological analyses or analyses for pesticides or herbicides. County or regional public health departments may provide a bacteria/nitrate test to determine if your water is safe to drink. Many private laboratories may provide pesticide/herbicide analytical services. For more information, feel free to call the Public Service Laboratory at (217) 333-9321 for assistance.