We’re Falling For You

One of our Core Values is Building Relationships, and during this COVID-19 epidemic, it’s been difficult on our client services and sales teams to not see our clients at events, conferences, and meetings as we usually do.  Since Autumn is in the air, we thought we’d show our clients how much we love them by sharing the warmth of the season with a giveaway!  AND – to make things even better, we are giving away TWO Suburban Swag Baskets.  

Enter to win this Suburban Swag Basket before midnight on Tuesday, October 13th, and you could win:

  • Manatawny Stillworks Whiskey (imagine a hot toddy by the fire!)
  • Yeti Rambler Mug in Copper
  • Magnolia Hearth and Home Candle Sticks
  • Suburban Testing Labs T-Shirt (You Specify the Size)
  • Pumpkin Serving Dish
  • Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Caramel Squares
  • Decorative Cocktail Napkins, Hand Towels and Basket

Suburban Testing Labs is dedicated to providing high quality data, at fast turnaround times, with excellent customer service.  We love our clients, and can’t wait to see you all in person again soon.  In the meantime, enter to win one of these two baskets today!

Enter to win by midnight on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.  

2020 Top Business Recognition

Our Team is celebrating today.  #25 on the list of Greater Reading Top 50 Businesses according to the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, published today in the Reading Eagle Business Weekly.   We have been appearing on this list every year since we were eligible, and once again are featured in the top half.

Awards will be given to these top businesses on September 17, 2020 at the Annual Chamber Dinner. This year’s dinner is virtual, and will feature an evening with best-selling author, social entrepreneur, and combat veteran Wes Moore. Moore will discuss his quest for a meaningful life, sharing valuable lessons learned from the remarkable people that he met along the way. 

“This Suburban Family is a group of talented professionals passionately pursuing excellence while protecting public health, and the environment.” Said Sara Stump, Director at Suburban Testing Labs.  “I credit our team’s adherence to our purpose, core values, and mission as the root of our success.  To be successful here you have to work in harmony with our values.”

Suburban Testing Labs is a nationally recognized independent environmental testing laboratory specializing in analysis of water, wastewater, soil, and solid materials.  We are accredited in accordance with NELAC (National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference) and commit to providing defensible data at a competitive price with first-class customer service.

Suburban Testing Laboratories has 57 years of experience in environmental testing for microbiological, inorganic and organic contaminants.     We continuously rank on the list of Greater Reading’s Top 50 Businesses.

Brave Blue World Documentary Screening


You are invited to a virtual screening of Brave Blue World, a documentary film that examines how new technologies and innovations can create a sustainable water future.

The screening will be held on August 25,2020 at 6:30 P.M. 

A new documentary film titled Brave Blue World examines how new technologies and innovations can create a sustainable water future. The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a production partner for Brave Blue World and is using the film to raise public awareness about the solutions to water challenges.

It is important to convey a sense of hope and spirit of optimism for water. By showing a path to a sustainable water future Brave Blue World can help us to influence leaders, increase resources, change policies, and improve stewardship of water.

The pioneering water film features compelling stories, beautiful scenery, and examples from across five continents to show novel ways of tackling water problems. It explores developments in areas such as water reuse, nutrient recovery, energy generation, decentralized treatment, and the digitization of water. The film includes interviews with a variety of water experts, as well as high-profile advocates Matt Damon and Jaden Smith.Brave Blue World Announcement-Suburban Testing Labs 2020 Caption

Brave Blue World features compelling stories, beautiful scenery, and examples from across five continents that show novel ways of tackling water problems. The film takes viewers on an incredible journey to meet with pioneers and innovators who are addressing global water and sanitation challenges. Their stories reveal a hopeful and optimistic future for our most precious resource.

Before the screening, the film will be introduced by an opening speaker. The film will be followed by a special conversation with a panel of water leaders including:

  • Moderator – Arthur Auchenbach III P.E., Past President of PWEA, EPWPCOA Board Member, President of Riordan Materials Corporation

  • Panelist – Jacqueline Jarrell P.E., WEF President, Interim Deputy Director of Charlotte Water

  • Panelist – Sara Kuzma-Stump, EPWPCOA Lab Committee Chairperson, Director of Suburban Testing Labs.

  • Panelist – Dean Miller, L.O., WEF Board Member, Past President of PWEA and EPWPCOA, President of Miller Environmental

  • Panelist – Tina Myers, L.O., EPWPCOA 1st VP, PWEA representative, Borough of New Holland Wastewater Department Supervisor

  • Panelist – Heath Edelman P.E., L.O., EPWPCOA member, Water and Environmental Technology Instructor at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology

  • Panelist – Doug Pike L.O., Brave Blue Word AdHoc Committee Chairperson, PWEA WEF Delegate, Operations Manager of Unity Township Municipal Authority

PA Presentation Partners include: WEF, PWEA, EPWPCOA, CPWQA, and WPWPCA.  Please register to reserve your virtual seat!

documentary trailer

Drowning in Lab Problems? Let Us Keep You Afloat

Missed turnaround times? Unanswered questions or data inquiries?

If any of this sounds familiar, you may be drowning in lab problems. Suburban Testing Labs can help.

Our project turnaround time is currently running at 98.6%. This means we give you deadlines you can trust, and you get your report when you’re supposed to, often earlier than expected.

In addition to fast turnaround times, environmental testing requires a strong commitment to servicing the client.  Our sizable, and local, Client Services Team is dedicated to making your project a success by reliably responding to the needs of our clients.

More About our Client Services Team

Our Client Services Department is comprised of a highly trained team of dedicated professionals.  Your expert Project Manager is assigned to you based on matching experience, and they serve as your main point of contact for any and all account needs.  From ordering sample containers, to technical questions, they are there to get the answers you need.

When it comes to reporting, Suburban Testing Labs has you covered.   We recognize that you can’t wait for results!  We have fast turnaround times, and you’ll have easy access to live data and final reports using our secure Online Report Access system. Routinely, you have three ways of receiving results reports: automatic email, online report access, and a hard copy.  And yes – you can have multiple users receive emails and have online access.

When you require specific electronic reporting/EDD’s, we are here to customize your data deliverables according to your needs.  Plus, we can automate your custom reports directly from our LIMS.

Avoid costly resampling due to lack of lab communication or partnership oversights.  Choose our team of highly dedicated professionals for your next project.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you!

“I hope they tested this.”

Testing Rivers Lakes and Streams

Because of COVID-19, people are flocking to rivers, lakes, and streams for recreation more than ever before. How do we know it meets safety standards?

As an Environmental Testing Laboratory, a lot of non-potable water samples from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) come through our laboratory.  The treated water discharged by these facilities goes into our vast natural waterway system – our rivers, lakes and streams.  Testing this water to ensure it meets safety standards is critical.

WWTPs have state permitted analysis requirements that must be completed by an accredited laboratory.  In addition, public water supplies that use these waters as a water source must often test untreated or “raw” water for harmful bacteria, such as E. coli and cryptosporidium.  We perform this analysis for our clients 365 days a year.

The public trusts that we are using the highest quality standards when analyzing these samples.  We understand that the results of our water testing are used to make important environmental decisions.  Trustworthy data quality is of utmost importance for us to meet that demand.

It’s Personal – A Dip Into A Local Lake

Blue Marsh Lake, Berks County, PA

Blue Marsh Lake, Berks County, PA

The health of all our regional bodies of water is important to us.  One happens to be in our backyard.

Our main laboratory is located five miles from Blue Marsh Lake in Berks County, Pennsylvania, and many of our employees use the lake for recreational activities all year long.  Owned and maintained by US Army Corps of Engineers, this lake benefits water control practices for the downstream communities of Reading, Birdsboro, Pottstown, Conshohocken and sections of Philadelphia.*

The lake is 1,150 acres and allows for a lot of recreational activities such as boating, fishing, swimming and hiking.  The lake is located on the Tulpehocken Creek, which is a tributary to the Schuylkill River within the Delaware River Basin.  The Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers are vast resources for drinking water supplies.

The Creek was impounded in 1974 creating this 8-mile-long Lake, and there has been a total of 37 species of fish captured during surveys conducted by the PA Fish & Boat Commission.

We conduct various types of field analysis, sample collection, and laboratory testing for many different clients within this watershed.  It’s just one way we work to preserve the health of our local water environment, and our community.

To learn more about Blue Marsh Lake, visit the USACE website: http://www.nap.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil- Works/Blue-Marsh-Lake/

Collecting a Sample from Blue Marsh Lake

To learn more about our Field Services, Wastewater and Drinking Water Analysis, visit our website: https://www.suburbantestinglabs.com/environmental-testing-services.html


Ready For You

We’re here to answer the call.

Summer is here, and construction projects are running full swing.  Many projects that were put on hold raced to start again when COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.  Whether you’ve just started a project, or have one in the works, we’re ready to take on your samples.

We’ve already received thousands of samples for various projects including construction, transportation, brownfield and infrastructure improvements.

Tools to Help You

Do you have new soil samplers on your team?  We have a brief e-Learning training video on our website that can help with training.  Check it out here.

Our Project Management team works closely with your team to gather all specifications to ensure your project is accurate from the start, including parameter lists, reporting limit requirements, and results report needs.  We make onboarding easy.

Our team of Field Scientists are on the road in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware ready to pick up your samples when you need.  We also offer sample receipt here at our headquarters with flexible hours.  When you need samples submitted, we are here to work with you.

Don’t get frustrated with unanswered calls, late or incorrect reports, contact us today to learn how we can help your next project be a success.


Testing Drinking Water

In the face of a global pandemic, one thing you shouldn’t worry about is whether your drinking water is safe.  Water suppliers and treatment professionals have been on-the-job as essential workers.

While we are a full-service laboratory that tests many sample types, we were founded on drinking water analysis and it continues to be a core part of our business.

Suburban Testing Labs by the Numbers

So far in 2020, we’ve performed over 42,000 analyses on drinking water samples from wells and water suppliers that serve more than 2.8 million Americans.  More and more clients place their trust in Suburban Testing Labs to provide them with data that is high quality, defensible and reliable.

We work hard every day protecting public health by ensuring the water we consume is safe.

If you are a public water supplier, treatment professional, operations company, or anyone working to help provide safe drinking water, contact us to learn how you can turn to the local laboratory providing high-quality, defensible data at a competitive price.

Testing Pool Water

Your poolside worries should be limited to swimming, sunblock, and selfies – not bacteria (or COVID-19).  With counties entering the yellow phase, and with green on the horizon, we are starting to see more pools open to the public every day.

Last summer we performed more than 13,700 analyses for public bathing (pool) clients.  Learn what public pools are required to do, how we fit in, and why some pools fail the bacteria test.

Pool Testing Requirements

All pools open to the public are required to have the pool water tested weekly to ensure it is maintaining standards.  The standards in Pennsylvania come from PA Code Ch. 18, and regulated by the PA Department of Health.  Swimming pools can have up to 2 coliform per sample, free chlorine must be at least 0.4 mg/L , and pH must be between 7.2-8.2.

Pools open to the public include year-round pools, not just your neighborhood community pool.  These include pools, spas, and sprinkler pads at hotels, community centers, and retirement communities.

Suburban Testing Labs analyzes pool water year-round.  Our field scientists analyze pH and chlorine onsite, collect a Total Coliform bacteria sample, and transport it back to our microbiology lab for analysis.  If a pool has an excess of bacteria beyond the allowable limit, we contact the client and health department to inform them of the result so corrections can be made.

Why A Pool May Fail Testing

Coliform bacteria are a naturally occurring group of bacteria that indicate the potential presence of other harmful bacteria; even the best maintained pool might have a coliform failure from time to time.

Public Swimming Pool TestingThe most common problem with coliform bacteria is insufficient disinfectant.  The minimum required limit is 0.4mg/L, however the National Spa and Pool Institute recommends a disinfectant residual of 2-4mg/L for normal usage and 3-5mg/L for periods of heavy usage.

The next most common problem is contact time and pH.  Chlorine may require 20 minutes of contact time to completely kill coliform bacteria.  Chlorine also becomes less effective as pH increases.  It is important to have the right balance of both pH and chlorine for adequate disinfection.

Pools are a great way to beat the heat for folks of all ages, but it’s important that standards are met and monitored to ensure that public health is protected.  We are proud to support this part of the environmental protection industry.

Contact us today to learn how we can support your pool testing needs.  info@suburbantestinglabs.com

Earth Day 2020

2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day– a day that was created to bring transformative change through education, activism, and change to benefit our planet.

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, work and communicate.  We may be separated, but we are all in it together.  Take Earth Day to remember the planet we all share, and do something to help.

Here’s how you can join the global conversation while at home this year.

Tune in to Earth Day Live 2020 Online to Fight Climate Change

Over the 24 hours of Earth Day (12:01 am ET – 11:59 pm ET on April 22), Earth Day Network will flood the digital landscape with global conversations, calls to action, performances, video teach-ins and more. Tune into Earth Day Live on April 22 -24 as millions of people around the world go online for a three-day mobilization to stop the climate emergency. Earthday.org

Pledge as a FamilyKids Drinking Water

Commit as a household to change one behavior that will benefit our planet.  For example:

  • Commit to eliminate the purchase of bottled water, and instead use reusable containers.
  • Stop using plastic straws and stick to stainless steel reusable straws instead.
  • Eliminate single-use plates, utensils, or napkins, and stick to washable and reusable options.
  • Install rain barrels for watering of outdoor flowers, plants, and vegetable gardens.

Pick one commitment and discuss how you can change your daily behaviors to stick to it.

Go to the Backyard

Plant a tree, native wildflowers, or start a garden.  Spring is the perfect time to get started!  Planting supports bird, butterfly, and bee species.  Not to mention, it’s a simple way to add beauty to your outdoor living space.  Check out The Old Farmer’s Almanac website for tips to start your own Wildflower garden.

NASA’s Earth Day at Home Toolkit

At NASA’s website, you’ll find even more, created especially for Earth Day – videos, online games and mobile apps, social media events, and even Lego activities for #EarthDayAtHome.

Educate the Next Generation

E-learning and cabin fever has taken over households with children.  Earth Day allows you to mix-it-up with a new activity, while helping the next generation understand the importance of taking care of our planet.

  • Check out National Geographic Kids for some Earth Day celebration ideas.
  • Environment America has a list of “Nifty Fifty Activities” kids can do at home in many categories, including climate change, waste reduction, plants, bees, and waterways.
  • Browse Pinterest for simple Earth Day activities you can print and do at home.


As an environmental testing laboratory, our overall purpose is to help preserve the environment and protect public health.  It’s in everything we do every day. But outside of work, we can all contribute as citizens to help make the Earth better for future generations.



COVID-19 and Our Water & Wastewater Industry

(March 17, 2020) – As an essential service, our laboratory continues to operate to protect public health and preserve our environment.  The Centers for Disease Control and Water Environment Federation has shared guidance about drinking water and wastewater transmission of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Their websites will be frequently updated with new information as it becomes available.  Live information on their website should be used for the most accurate information.

According to WEF, currently, there is no evidence that the COVID-19 virus survives the disinfection process for drinking water and wastewater.

  • The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water.
  • The risk of transmission through feces is expected to be low based on data from previous outbreaks of related coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
  • At this time, the risk of transmission of COVID-19 through sewerage systems is thought to be low.

Water Transmission and COVID-19  <–This Site Answers the following Questions:

  • Can the COVID-19 virus spread through drinking water?
  • Is the COVID-19 virus found in feces?
  • Can the COVID-19 virus spread through pools and hot tubs?
  • Can the COVID-19 virus spread through sewerage systems?
  • Should wastewater workers take extra precautions to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus?

For Guidance for Reducing Health Risk to Workers Handling Human Wastewater <–​ This Site Shares the following Information:

  • Basic Hygiene Practices for Workers
  • Personal Protective Equipment

We remain committed to providing our team with all support, tools, and information necessary to safely perform their jobs.

If you are a client experiencing disruption to business operations, please contact your project manager as soon as you learn so that we can make arrangements to accommodate your alterations.

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