Make Sure The Quality Of Water Is Healthy And Right For Your Family

Water Testing Guide

Did you know that 80-85% of errors in testing are a result of user error?

These issues stem from improper sample handling and poor testing technique. Our 10 page guide goes over the key fundamentals to give your team the foundation they need for success. Topics include:

Proper sample collection

Preparing your sample for testing

7 key steps to effective testing

How to accurately test water and build a solid foundation for an effective water treatment program.

The first (and very crucial step) to accurately test water, is the collection of an accurate sample. This means having the proper sample size, but also making sure your sample is representative of your whole system. By ignoring this most basic of principles, your test results can be skewed from the beginning causing you to generate erroneous results. To accurately test water there are three keys needed for an effective program.

An issue in one area can cause issues for your entire testing program; however, proper testing begins with the operator.

Most of the time, when an error occurs, it is because of user error and improper water sample collection methods. Improper handling can consume certain chemicals or introduce contaminants which affect tests and your response to the result. An important key to a representative sample, is flushing the sample line before you take your sample. This will clear out impurities or chemical concentrations at the sample point. This is why proper training and carefully following water quality testing procedures are so important.

This industrial water testing guide will answer the question of how to collect an accurate water sample and also give you and your team several key tips for water testing to ensure you are getting accurate results and making good treatment decisions. This guide will help you master the fundamentals and understand water testing best practices, so you can build a solid foundation

Topics covered include:

How to collect an accurate water sample

Preparing your sample

Proper lighting

Clean equipment

Sample accuracy

Proper technique


Drinking Water Help Guides

Acetone in Drinking Water?

Acetone has a pungent to fruity odor and it tends to be clear and colorless. The “odor” threshold for acetone in air is when it is 13 to 20 ppm and water when the level is 20 ppm.  A concentrated fluid of acetone is highly volatile and flammable and acetone can be found in paints, lacquers, solvents, varnishes, cements/glues, and cleaners.  Acetone is highly water soluble and can leach readily into the groundwater.

In addition to anthropogenic sources, i.e., man-made,  acetone is created during the natural living and growing processes of plants and animals and levels of acetone are typically higher during a low carbohydrate diet, exercising vigorously, have poorly managed diabetes, or eating a high fat diet.


Acetone is quickly absorbed by ingestion, inhalation, and dermal exposure. In two experiments with humans, inhalation absorption was in the 70 to 80 percent range. There is no data for the other routes. Absorbed acetone is almost entirely eliminated from the body within a day after exposure.

Short-Term (acute) Effects

Mild nervous system effects that abated soon after exposure ceased were seen in humans exposed to concentrations of acetone of 500 ppm in air and greater. Symptoms included irritation of the eyes and respiratory system, mood swings, and nausea. Accidental poisonings report similar nervous system effects of sluggishness and drowsiness that were not long lasting.

Only one animal study could be located, which investigated the effects of acetone exposure by ingestion. Rats were given drinking water containing acetone at a concentration of 25,000 ppm for 18 weeks. The only effect observed in the rats was weight loss, which may be attributed to decreased food consumption.


Water quality

Water quality refers to the chemical, physical, biological, and radiological characteristics of water. It is a measure of the condition of water relative to the requirements of one or more biotic species, or to any human need or purpose. It is most frequently used by reference to a set of standards against which compliance, generally achieved through treatment of the water, can be assessed. The most common standards used to assess water quality relate to health of ecosystems, safety of human contact, and drinking water. Water quality has a huge impact on water supply and oftentimes determines supply options

In the setting of standards, agencies make political and technical/scientific decisions based on how the water will be used.[4] In the case of natural water bodies, they also make some reasonable estimate of pristine conditions. Natural water bodies will vary in response to environmental conditions. Environmental scientists work to understand how these systems function, which in turn helps to identify the sources and fates of contaminants. Environmental lawyers and policymakers work to define legislation with the intention that water is maintained at an appropriate quality for its identified use.

The vast majority of surface water on the Earth is neither potable nor toxic. This remains true when seawater in the oceans (which is too salty to drink) is not counted. Another general perception of water quality is that of a simple property that tells whether water is polluted or not. In fact, water quality is a complex subject, in part because water is a complex medium intrinsically tied to the ecology of the Earth. Industrial and commercial activities (e.g. manufacturing, mining, construction, transport) are a major cause of water pollution as are runoff from agricultural areas, urban runoff and discharge of treated and untreated sewage.

Contaminants that may be in untreated water include microorganisms such as viruses, protozoa and bacteria; inorganic contaminants such as salts and metals; organic chemical contaminants from industrial processes and petroleum use; pesticides and herbicides; and radioactive contaminants. Water quality depends on the local geology and ecosystem, as well as human uses such as sewage dispersion, industrial pollution, use of water bodies as a heat sink, and overuse (which may lower the level of the water)

In urbanized areas around the world, water purification technology is used in municipal water systems to remove contaminants from the source water (surface water or groundwater) before it is distributed to homes, businesses, schools and other recipients. Water drawn directly from a stream, lake, or aquifer and that has no treatment will be of uncertain quality.


Water Quality Testing

It contains background information, lesson ideas, procedures, data collection and reporting forms, suggestions for interpreting the results and extension activities.

Parents, teachers, students and not-for-profit environmental educators are welcome to download the Water Quality Testing Manual free of charge. Please note that this program tests the environmental quality of water bodies, not the potability of drinking water.

Teachers in MWRA communities may borrow a Water Quality Testing Kit from MWRA. The kit contains equipment for testing temperature, pH, Dissolved Oxygen, Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Nitrates, Total Dissolved Solids and Salinity, Turbidity

In order to borrow a Water Quality Testing Kit, teachers must attend a full-day workshop. If you would like more information about the kit or the workshop



This Guide is intended to summarize the State Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory’s ability to provide analytical support for the most recent EPA Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requirements. The SDWA has undergone at least 8 major rule changes for analytical testing since its inception in 1975. Phase II and Phase V regulations increase the number of parameters monitored from 35 to 84 (including regulated and unregulated parameters) and significantly increase the technical complexity of the analytical procedures and instrumentation.

Currently the State of Maine HETL is not certified for Asbestos and Diquat. The State of Maine has been granted Waivers for Glyphosate, Dioxin, EDB, and DBCP. Other tests are available and may be listed in other testing guides: Private drinking water testing, Environmental, or special requests. Prices are the result of regulatory administrative procedures, either from individual price determination, or from the application of the approved regulated hourly rates.

The SEMI-VOLATILES ORGANIC SCREEN test uses a solid phase extraction technique to extract higher boiling compounds from the water sample. This is an EPA GC/MS method 525.2.Current analytes include: Hexachlorobenzene, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Benzo(a)pyrene, Di(2-ethylhexyl)adipate, Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, Alachlor, Endrin, Lindane, Simazine, Aldrin, Heptachlor, Heptachlor Epoxide, Methoxychlor, Atrazine, and Dieldrin.

This test is performed according to Safe Drinking Water Act criteria for total TRIHALOMETHANES. Trihalomethanes result from chlorination of water.The four chlorination byproducts: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, chlorodibromomethane, and bromoform are tested by EPA method 524.2.

HERBICIDE SCREEN – A general screening method for the detection of the chlorinated acid herbicides (2,4-D) and residues of Dalapon , Dinoseb (DNBP), DICAMBA and PENTACHLOROPHENOL with EPA Method:   515.2

Why Have A Home Inspection

Ways to Prepare for a Home Inspection

Homeowners focus largely on cosmetic fixes when preparing to sell. They put fresh paint on the walls, remodel kitchens and baths, and spruce up the landscape. And these efforts pay off: The house looks and feels clean and modern, which captures the attention of buyers who don’t want to mess with those projects once they move in.

Not as much attention is focused, however, on making sure the inner workings of the home are in good shape. We recommend having a seller’s home inspection to make sure you’re aware of issues before you even put your house on the market, because when you receive an offer, the option period is short — generally, five to ten days — in which you must have your home inspected, make repairs, and possibly have it reinspected.

Clean the house.

Home inspectors are trained to notice things, and their first impression is important. It sets the tone: A clean home indicates you take good care of the house. Obviously, it’s not the most important factor home inspectors consider, but it’s a simple step to take considering what’s at stake.

Check your lights, inside and out.

Make sure they work and replace any burned out bulbs. This simple task will prevent an unnecessary “Light is inoperable” finding on the inspection report, which could imply an electrical problem.

Evaluate your doors.

Are doorknobs in good working order? Do locks function properly? Do they close easily and completely? Attend to any issues you find.



Are inspections “automatically” part of every home purchase?

No. As a buyer, you must include a home inspection clause in your purchase agreement, which will let you back out of the contract if the inspector discovers unexpected problems with the house. If you still want the house, an inspection clause allows you to renegotiate with the seller in light of any issues discovered—either requesting a price adjustment, or asking the seller to make necessary repairs prior to completing the sale.

What IS a home inspection?

A home inspection is a comprehensive review of the systems, structure and general “health” of a home, conducted by a qualified, objective inspector. If there are any issues that may degrade the value of the home, or require immediate/near-term repairs, they should be revealed by a professional home inspector.

How do I select an inspector?

You can ask your buyer’s agent to recommend a good, qualified, local inspector. You can also find one on your own. Either way, you should consider the inspector’s qualifications, confirm if they are bonded and insured, and if they meet the requirements to be licensed in your state

Can I be there during the inspection?

Yes, you can and should be. Your buyer’s agent can handle it for you, but you’ll get a much better feel for your new house if you attend the inspection. If the inspector finds any problems, you’ll be able to ask questions, on the spot, and get the answers you need.

What if the house I want fails inspection?

An inspection is an evaluation, not a test, which means houses can’t “fail” inspection. It’s a way to reveal any issues, or potential issues, that may negatively impact a buyer prior to completing a sale. It’s also intended to ensure both the buyer and seller are in informed agreement regarding the condition of the property that is changing hands.



As a buyer, the home inspection process remains one of the most important deciding factors when buying a home. Just as sellers play a vital role in preparing their home for an inspection, a buyer has an integral role to play as well. Here is the home inspection checklist you need to prepare for, and get the most out of, your buyer’s home inspection.

Find Your Inspector

A successful home inspection involves working with a qualified inspector to assess and document the condition of a home through visual inspection. All HouseMaster home inspectors are trained at the National Institute of Building Inspectors so you can rest assured that you will receive a quality inspection.

Read the Fine Print

Be sure to read the complete inspection contract. As the client, your HouseMaster inspector is working for your interests before that of any other party.

Set the Stage

When attending your inspection, it is important to note that the inspector can only inspect elements of the home that are accessible. After making your choice and booking the inspection, be sure to request that the seller unlock any inaccessible areas, and make sure that the components of the home, such as heat, electricity and water, are turned on so that the house can receive a full inspection.

Take the Time

Be sure to allow enough time in your schedule for a thorough inspection. Depending on the size of the home this could be several hours, so arranging for someone to watch your children or pets is a good idea. If you must bring your children with you, try to bring along another adult to help you focus on the inspection.




Purchasing a home is one of the most important financial investments in a person’s life. It can be stressful, as there is much to understand about a home in order to make a sound purchasing decision.

Over the course of a few hours our home inspectors review the home from top to bottom, inspecting major and minor building systems and components— from the building structure and roof to outlet operation and appliances.


Thinking of selling your home? Making sure your home is in its best shape is a top priority. Surprises can have unintended consequences such as undercutting an asking price, derailing a potential deal, and prolonging time on the market


Mold can cause a host of undesirable problems to a home and its occupants. In addition to being unsightly and capable of producing foul smells, mold can actually cause damage to building materials such as drywall, wood floors, and even framework. Damage from mold and moisture can be enough to threaten the structural integrity of a house.

Mold is caused by excess moisture introduced into materials that mold can use as food. This molding process is commonly caused by plumbing, roof or even foundation leaks that introduce moisture into wood siding, framing, hardwood floors, drywall, plaster and other building materials. In some cases, extremely high humidity can provide enough moisture for mold growth


Things a First Time Home Buyer Should Do Before Making an Offer

There are a few defining moments in any person’s life. Graduating high school, graduating college, getting your first adult job—these are just a few of the milestones that you face in your early life. For many people, the next few might be starting a family, buying a car, or perhaps buying their first home. When you compare buying a home with all of the previous milestones however, they might seem small and easy in comparison. As soon as you start the process, it is easy to become quickly overwhelmed with all of the different questions you have, and criteria to consider.

Research the Area

Everything starts with a little bit of research, so that is the very first thing that you should do if you are looking to buy a house. If you do not have the right direction for your research however, it can be just as useful as no research at all. Start first with finding the area into which you wish to move. When you are doing this, look into local schools, average house prices in the area, the proximity to important amenities (such as stores, mechanics, doctors, etc.), and the crime rate in that area. You can even use a search engine to search for local news in the area, to make sure there is nothing too negative that stands out.

Research the House

Once you find some houses that you like, the research does not stop there. You will now have to determine certain information about the property before making an offer.

Here are some of the main things that you should look into:

Research the market, when is a good time to buy?

When you find a house, look at similar properties in the area and compare prices.

Check the square footage, and find out cost averages based on that size.

Find out why the current owner is selling, this could give you clues as to how flexible they will be on the price.

Try to find out how much the seller paid, especially if it was recently.

Look at trends for list price to sales price ratio.

Ask for the home’s history and DOM (days on market).

Do a Walkthrough

You should not make an offer without first having a walkthrough. But even one walkthrough might not be enough. Many people fall into the trap of falling in love with the first property that they look at, and it warps their perspective when it comes to buying. Before you make your offer, see if you can do another walk through, and make sure that you check for anything you may have missed the first time. Look behind doors and under furniture for any potential flaws or problems

The Right Time To Do Mold Inspection

Tips For Finding The Best Mold Inspector

The X-Factor

You want to ensure that the inspector has all of the resources to provide you with the best information possible. This shows true dedication and professionalism. You want to avoid moonlighters, handy men, or the part time mold inspectors.

Reporting & Turn Around Time

Ask the inspector what type of report(s) will be provided.  It is not unusual to get a verbal summary, especially only if the inspection does not lead to any issues of concern.  It is important to check the contract and or make an agreement as to what types of report you will be getting.

Reputation & References

Look for reviews online to see if there have been any complaints. Seeing a number of good reviews on a few different sites (Google +, Yelp & HomeStars) is good, as it shows consistency.  Normally companies will refrain from giving you references to call from their clients unless you book with them, but it is worth a shot to ask.

Air Quality Testing, Tape & Swab Sampling

Essentially, mold testing involves taking samples from either the air or physical locations of the home for the presence of mold. Once the samples have been taken, they will be sent to a lab for analysis. Following this, the lab will produce a report of the findings.

Tools and Equipment

Mold inspectors use a number of different tools to help them diagnose and confirm their findings. Some tools of the trade include…


How to Find the Best Mold Removal Company

With so many mold removal companies to choose from, how do you decide?

Hiring the right company is necessary, yet a difficult decision… especially when it comes to the health and safety of your family.  You can’t afford to cut any corners.

Mold remediation companies are specialized in safely removing contaminated mold in until the home is once again safe to occupy.

Mold remediation companies do not rebuild your home after the mold has been removed, but they may recommend or arrange for a company to help you with that.

Restoration companies rebuild the home back to its original condition after the home after the mold has been removed. Many of these companies will remove the mold as well.

Emergency response companies specialize in assessment, testing and mold removal in short order, whereas the average mold removal company will deal with the mold in a more step by step process.


Tips to Get an Effective Mold Inspection

The mold inspection company you choose should offer a value proposition that stands apart from others. The credentials should include a certification, experience, a fine work product and a competitive price. In addition, the company should be able to provide multiple references of past customers who were satisfied with their experience.

To minimize the chance for conflict of interest, the mold inspection company should strictly be in the business of inspecting, testing and consulting. That way, the company has no vested interested in benefiting from the repair that may be necessary through mold remediation.

The inspection report should be a two-part document – lab results and an inspection report. Once mold testing is conducted, samples should be sent to an independent laboratory for analysis. The results of the lab analysis will be interpreted by the inspection company, which will then provide a comprehensive analysis of the property condition, laboratory findings and recommendations.

The report should be easy to understand when you read it. Some inspectors simply provide lab results without any additional documentation. An inspector also serves as a consultant and should be able to produce a document to reflect his/her interpretation of the inspection process.


How to Choose A Mold Inspector

When Do You Need a Mold Inspector?

If you are concerned about your health and suspect that you may have molds in your home, then it may be time to choose and pick the right mold inspector.

Three Goals When Choosing a Mold Inspector:

When choosing a professional mold inspector, look for one that has these three goals in mind.

Qualifications Needed from a Mold Inspector:

Do not choose a mold inspector based on price alone. There are many services where you can price shop, but mold investigation and sampling should not be one of them. Expertise should be top priority. Look for the following training, experience, and qualifications when choosing a mold inspector.

Home inspections, building construction, or building forensics

Your mold problem is not in a dish or cage. It is in a building and is the result of building failure. So, mold testing should be done by someone who has knowledge of buildings, vapor barriers, roofing, HVAC systems and other related things.


Psychometrics is all about humidity, temperature, dew point and air. A profound understanding of the interrelations of such factors is very important.


Helpful Tips In Choosing A Professional Mold Removal Service

The mold removal contractor should be well-known for their expertise and years of relevant experience.

The mold contractor you have in mind should have the necessary experience to do an effective job, from inspection to removal of mold. This means that the proper procedure will be used, in keeping with guidelines, and that all their staff has been properly trained, ensuring that safe and effective means will be used to accomplish the job successfully.

Get recommendations from others who have used the services of the contractor you have in mind.

When other clients have experienced satisfactory results from the work of the mold removal service, it should be safe to assume that you will also experience the same positive experience. Most companies and contractors have websites so checking out testimonials and success stories from previous clients would also be helpful.

Choose a contractor that also offers expert advice on future prevention of mold growth.

There are specific things and tips you can do to control the extensive growth of mold and expert mold removers not only know how to clean mold; they also know how you can prevent it from reoccurring, or at least contain it so that it does not cause huge damage, as it did the first time.

Choose a company that offer free estimates.

It is always a good idea to get free quotes from several services so you are able to compare prices and the service packages. This will also allow you to get the best mold removal company to work on your property, for the best value of your money.

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