“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

* Per USACE

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.