“Sooo hot. Need water.”

The dog days of summer are here.  As the temperature rises, so does our thirst.  If you’re like us, you’ve been upping your water intake to stay hydrated.  And if you drink water at a home, business, or restaurant, chances are we’ve been involved in the testing process.

2018 Drinking Water Testing at Suburban Testing Labs

Since January 1st of this year alone, we’ve performed more than 44,000 tests on over 20,000 samples for public water suppliers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware.  For private well owners, we’ve analyzed more than 3,000 samples for more than 12,000 contaminants.

Our top test?  Total Coliform Bacteria easily tops the list with 18,381 tests performed in our microbiology lab.  This includes analysis for the presence of Total Coliform an E.Coli, and “Enumeration,” which gives a most probable number of bacteria present in the sample.

How Do I Know My Water Is Safe?

If you have a private well, the only way you can find out is to have your water tested on your own.

If you’re a customer of a community system public water supplier, you can find out by reviewing the annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) that is delivered in the mail each year.

CCRs are required disclosures for community water systems by US law, and must be provided to all customers by July 1st of each year.  Your CCR tells you your water source, levels of contaminants in your water source, and how that compares to EPA allowable limits.

What Happens When We See A Failing Sample?

From time-to-time a sample will exceed allowable Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs).  Each state has specific Public Notification Requirements.  In Pennsylvania, for example, if there is a Total Coliform and E.coli positive sample, a Nitrate / Nitrite failure, or any other MCL exceedance, we must notify the public water supplier within 1 hour via telephone.  The public water supplier must then notify the State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) within 1 hour, and notify the public within the timeframe specified by the law. For acute health risks, such as the presence of E.coli, they are required to notify the public within 24 hours.

Then, check samples are collected and analyzed within 24 hours to confirm the original result.

It is critical that laboratories, PWSs, and DEP quickly responds to MCL violations to correct the issue.

At Suburban Testing Labs, we take this responsibility seriously.  We understand the critical nature of drinking water analysis, and our team works 7 days a week to support the needs of our public water suppliers.   During these dog days of summer, as you’re increasing your water consumption, you can trust us – your experts in drinking water analysis.


We asked our staff: What are your favorite ways to stay fit during these hot #dogdaysofsummer?

Play golf as much as possible. I try to walk vs. riding in a cart as much as possible. On average, walking 18 holes of golf is approximately 5+ miles depending on the course.

Keith, Inorganic Chemistry and Microbiology Supervisor

Summer is the best time for me to get out and active with hiking activities. I love to work up a good sweat in the hilly terrain, and my two dogs are great hiking partners!

Beth, Sales Manager

Going to the gym every morning keeps the blood flowing during the workday! Hiking is another good one.

Jesse, Human Resources Generalist

Yoga is my favorite way to stay fit – in the air conditioning!!

Lindsay, Project Manager