Level 4 Certified Testing uses chain-of-custody with a water professional coming to your home to properly collect and handle the water sampling process and to make sure that the sample(s) is delivered to a certified laboratory. The water professional should discuss with you your specific concerns and problems to determine the optimal series of water quality testing parameters, to request appropriate sampling containers, and to choose the appropriate standard operating/sampling protocols. The certified laboratory is responsible for providing the containers, i.e., selecting the proper size and type, for determining and providing any field preservatives, specifying holding times for each sample, checking samples upon receipt, conducting the analysis, securing the samples while being processed, securing and checking the quality of the data generated, and generating a report that may or may not include the full quality control information for the sample and all the associated laboratory work.
The water professional then works with an accredited laboratory to certify your test results. This type of testing not only gives you the highest level of assurance in the accuracy of your test results but can also be used as a document in legal cases. For baseline testing, it is recommended to use Certified Testing.
The selection of Level 4 testing should be based on the completion of prior lower-level Testing: Level 1 Observational Self Testing (check out our Self-Test Web App), Level 2 Information Testing, and Level 3 Lab Informational Testing. As a result of these lower level tests or observations, the presence, relative quantity and types of Contaminants, would be identified. This initial testing helps to identify if the problem is a primary health concern or an aesthetic-related issue or both and if the contamination might have an adverse impact that may be directly related to actions by others. This information is critical in determining what additional supplemental testing would be needed and to identify the potential source or sources of the water quality issues. This type of information is also critical in developing formal sampling and analysis plans using the proper protocols to meet the needs related to pending litigation, in meeting specific requirements by a regulatory body or authority, such as the local township or state organization, housing authority, EPA, State Health Department, State Department of Environmental Protection, or State or Federal Environmental Resources agency, and in developing a short-term and long-term solution for the project.
Certified testing is not a one-size-fits-all approach, but a custom analysis to fit your specific conditions, needs, concerns, and problems you are experiencing with your health, your home, your community, or an activity within your community and watershed.
The primary difference between certified testing and baseline testing is that baseline testing is conducted so as to focus on an existing or proposed activity that may or could impact your drinking water quality. The goal is to not just confirm that the well meets drinking water standards, but to document the conditions or contaminants in the well that may be affected or impacted by an existing or proposed activity. This may include the expansion of a quarry, blasting for a new highway, installing a pipeline, oil and natural gas development, or even installing a hydroelectric dam. Ideally, the baseline testing establishes what your water quality was like before a particular activity begins.
Where we fit into the puzzle: Most certified laboratories do not want to specify or make recommendations on what testing parameters should be selected and most certified laboratories do not provide a comprehensive assessment of the sampling results or provide general recommendations so you can complete the journey on your "Path to Clean Water." We provide you with an unbiased solution for both of these situations and can provide you a set of eyes and ears on-site during the evaluation of your system.
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