Even Your Pets Need Safe Drinking Water

Most of us really never think about the water we give to our dogs and cats. But, what you may not know is that your pets may be even more sensitive to the quality of their drinking water than you are. healthy water for dogs and cats

Our lab director and I were talking about this recently and it was an eye opener for me. He said that he’s had customers come to him over the years because their vets cannot pinpoint why their pet is not feeling well. As a near last resort, they ask the owners to have their drinking water get a comprehensive test. It’s amazing how often there is some parameter that is at a higher level than normal. Once the appropriate treatment is put into place, usually a water filter, their pet no longer has a problem.

I went searching for an article that talks about this important topic. I found on that focuses on why cats need the ‘right’ drinking water. If you have a pet, I encourage you to read this brief article. I think it will prompt you to have your drinking water tested for your pet’s sake–it may even be good for you.

Water Water Everywhere, but What’s a Cat to Drink?

Our Bang-for-the-Buck Essential Indicators Water Test is perfect for finding out just how safe your drinking water is for you and for you pet(s). You can learn more about it here.

Informational Clinic and Private Well Water Testing Offered in Smyth County, VA

Virginia Household Water Quality Program

I saw this article in SWVA.com today. Any well owner in the Smyth County should attend the free clinic being offered. We find that most well owners do not really understand how to properly maintain their wells, especially when it comes to the health and safety of the water that their family drinks and uses.

As part of these clinics, the county is offering water testing for 14 parameters at a cost of $60. We think that’s a pretty good deal.

But, if you want to have your well water tested for over 100 parameters, you may want to consider a test we offer that is targeted especially at well owners called the ‘Bang-for-the-Buck’ Essential Indicators Water Test. We test for 23 toxic metals, heavy metals & inorganic chemicals, 89 Volatile Organic Compounds. We include a self-test for the presence/absence of 8 pathogenic bacteria. This test is normally $149 but we are offering now for $129 (see below for a time-sensitive special discount coupon).

We want well owners to take control and manage the quality of their drinking water. We think testing your well water is the best first step. Once you get the results, you will then know if you need to take steps to correct any problems. For instance, if you see that you have an elevated level of pathogenic bacteria, you need to sanitize your well immediately. We have a product to help you there called the Well Water Wellness Kit. It contains everything you need to chlorinate your well including a link to a video that shows you step-by-step how to chlorinate your well the ‘right’ way.

We urge well owners in Smyth County to take advantage of the free clinic—this is important stuff. And have your well water tested either by the Virginia Tech lab or by a professional lab like ours. This is a ‘must’!

You can read more about our water test by going to this web site: www.dwspros.com/bfb  If you use this coupon code, smythspeical, you will save an additional 15% off the already special price. This discount is only available until May 31, 2015.

Read the original article from SWVA.com using this link: http://goo.gl/T1wLGV

EPA Says Agriculture is Polluting 68% US Lakes, Reservoirs & Ponds

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

In this Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 photo, Barb Kalbach stands near a hog confinement facility, near Orient, Iowa. Kalbach has fought for more than a decade against the construction of huge hog operations, and has joined Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, a nonprofit that?s against such enterprises because members believe they are ruining Iowa?s waterways. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

According the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, agriculture is the main culprit endangering about 68% of the country’s lakes, reservoirs and pond and more than half of its rivers and streams.

This is leading to lawsuits around the country against large-scale livestock farmers. Studies are showing high levels of bacteria, nitrate, and phosphorus from fertilizer and a build up of manure in water supplies. These contaminants can show up in well water in the affected areas at levels that may be harmful to humans and their pets. They also cause air pollution, and can lead to respiratory health problems.

Some farmers pump treated liquefied manure and urine into large sprinkler systems which fling it into their fields as fertilizer. You can imagine the smell drifting into the air and out to their neighbors!

If I lived in one of these affected areas and had a well for my drinking water, I’d be testing that water at least annually and I’d be sanitizing my well on the same schedule.

You can read the article written by David Pitt of the Associated Press where I read about this by going here: http://goo.gl/wFkKmY

To learn more about water testing and sanitizing your well go here: Drinking Water Specialists

State agencies to pay for Vienna residents’ water testing after oil spill

I’ve begun to explore

State agencies to pay for Vienna residents’ water testing after oil spill.

21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio –

If you live in Vienna Township, Ohio and believe your well water may be affected by the recent oil spill near Vienna and Mosquito Lake, make sure you contact the Ohio EPA about having them pay to have your well water tested. While they believe that the spill did not reach the aquifer, every well owner in the area should have their well water tested.

If the Ohio EPA turns down your request to pay for you to have your water tested, there is a cost-effective alternative. This test includes, among other things, dangerous contaminants that can affect your health in both near and long term.

This is a mail-order service from a professional laboratory located in New Jersey that uses EPA testing methods to test drinking water from wells, as well as from municipal water companies. The test, called the ‘Bang-for-the-Buck’ Essential Indicators Water Test, covers over 100 contaminants. The only contaminants that the well owner tests for are pathogenic bacteria—you can read ‘why’ here: Why test pathogenic bacteria yourself. All of the other contaminants are tested by lab professionals.

You can learn more about the ‘Bang-for-the-Buck’ Essential Indicators Water Test at their web site: DrinkingWaterSpecialists.com/bfb

To read the entire news article about the Vienna Township oil spill go to the wfmj.com web site.

Methane in drinking water unrelated to fracking, study suggests

.  Fracking Well

…and the controversy continues

Here’s a study, using data supplied by Chesapeake Energy Corp. which has large oil and gas stakes in Pennsylvania, that refutes the notion about the level of methane in well water is caused by hydraulic fracturing:

Fracking doesn’t appear to be allowing methane to seriously contaminate drinking water in Pennsylvania, a new study finds—contrary to some earlier, much publicized research that suggested a stronger link. But the lead authors of the two bodies of research are sparring over the validity of the new results.

The new study of 11,309 drinking water wells in northeastern Pennsylvania concludes that background levels of methane in the water are unrelated to the location of hundreds of oil and gas wells that tap hydraulically fractured, or fracked, rock formations. The finding suggests that fracking operations are not significantly contributing to the leakage of methane from deep rock formations, where oil and gas are extracted, up to the shallower aquifers where well water is drawn.

The result also calls into question prominent studies in 2011 and 2013 that did find a correlation in a nearby part of Pennsylvania. There, wells closer to fracking sites had higher levels of methane. Those studies, however, were based on just 60 and 141 domestic well samples, respectively.”

You can read the rest of the article at: http://goo.gl/GIRhyz

McHenry County Department of Health offers reduced fee water testing in April

Testing Well Water

We think it’s terrific when a local health department takes the initiative to make it easy for well owners in their jurisdiction to have their water tested for key contaminants. 

I ran across this news article from a county northwest of Chicago, McHenry County, that is offering well owners a water test for coliform bacteria and nitrate for only $18. Since these are the dangerous to humans and pets, all well owners in the county should take advantage of this offer. All you need to do is pick up the sterile vials, fill them with your unfiltered well water and drop them off for testing. 

We hope more and more health departments start doing this. I can’t tell you how many well owners we talk with who have never—as in ‘never’—had their well water tested. I guess they figure if they are still alive, and the water tastes and looks fine, and they have no problems.

We know that’s not necessarily true. About 25 to 30% of the well water we test has an unhealthy level of pathogenic bacteria. That’s a very high percentage. These are hidden contaminants because you cannot see them, smell them or taste them. In addition to coliform bacteria, there are also other ‘hidden’ bacteria such as H. pylori that can cause peptic ulcer disease, or giardia lamblia that can cause serious illness with symptoms such as stomach pains, diarrhea, and dehydration.

These ‘hidden’ bacteria are not easy, or inexpensive to test for. That’s why they are not normally included in standard tests. 

Treating for all bacteria including coliform and the ‘hidden’ bacteria is not hard. In fact, we put together a kit that you can use to sanitize your well. As long as you can remove the cap to your wellhead and can run water from hose connected to an outside faucet, you can easily do this. Not only did we make it affordable, but you will do a better job than the average ‘expert’.

Bottom line: have your well water tested at least once a year and sanitize your well annually.

We’ve made a video you can view for free that explains, in terms the well owner can understand, more about wells and how to treat them: The Why and How Behind Chlorination

You can read the article about the well water testing available for McHenry County IL well owners McHenry County IL Well Water Testing.

Basic Steps to Protect Private Drinking Water

Typical Wellhead

Typical Wellhead

Properly maintaining wells that tap into groundwater is critical for protecting personal health and the resource, say state health officials. National Groundwater Awareness Week was established more than two decades ago to bring attention to the important role that groundwater plays in the health and well-being of people. The Minnesota Department of Health recommends all well owners take some basic steps to maintain their well and protect their drinking water.

Basic Wellhead Inspection: Keep insects, rodents, snakes and other undesirable critters out of your well. Keep lawn mowers, snowplows and other equipment away from wells. Follow the Three Cs of well maintenance:

  • Cap – ensure the well cap is securely attached and not broken or missing, and the connections through the cap are watertight.
  • Casing – observe the well pipe or casing for cracks or corrosion. Call a licensed well contractor for repairs.
  • Conduit – confirm that the conduit for the electric service wire to the well is securely connected to the well cap.

Well Water Testing: Complete basic water testing to ensure safe drinking water. Your local county health department may provide or arrange for testing, or you can find certified testing laboratories at the website below.

The following are what you typically will want to test your water for. Other testing may be needed depending on where you live and the surrounding land use.

  • Bacteria – complete a total coliform bacteria test annually or any time your water system is serviced, or you notice a change in taste, color, or odor.
  • Nitrate – complete a nitrate test every two years, or annually if nitrate is detected in your well, and always before giving the water to an infant.
  • Arsenic – complete an arsenic test once.
  • Lead – complete a lead test once, or always flush faucets for at least one to two minutes before using water from them for drinking or cooking when the water has not been used for six hours or longer and never drink from your hot water taps.

You can read the complete posting here:  Basic steps to protect private drinking water

To learn more about well water maintenance and well water testing, go to: Well Water Testing & Maintenace

Test Your Well Water Before the Peak Water Use Season Begins

We are beginning to read reminders from state environmental agencies that this is the season well owners need to be performing their annual well and well water checkups. Here’s one that just came from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services:

Just as you check your furnace or replace smoke detector batteries seasonally, spring is a good season to have an annual water well checkup and to test your well water before the peak water use season begins, according to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES). National Groundwater Awareness Week is March 8 to 14, but New Hampshire residents will need to wait for the snow to melt before doing their annual well checkup.

An annual checkup by a qualified water well contractor is the best way to ensure problem-free service and quality water. Also, preventative maintenance usually is less costly than emergency maintenance, and good well maintenance — like good car maintenance — can prolong the life of a well and related equipment. NHDES recommends that private well users test their water whenever there is a change in taste, odor, or appearance, when the system is serviced, or at least once every three years.

Nearly half of N.H. residents receive their drinking water from private wells, as opposed to regulated public water systems. But with well ownership comes the responsibility of keeping the well in good working order and testing for common contaminants such as arsenic and radon. A check of your well should include:

  • Checking the well cover to make sure it keeps out insects, snakes, and other animals;
  • Making sure the casing is high enough to keep out snowmelt and surface runoff;
  • Making sure the well is located far enough from septic systems and other potential sources of contamination such as storage sheds, areas where pesticides or fertilizers are used, or where lawn and garden equipment is fueled; and
  • An annual test for bacteria, nitrate, and nitrite, and testing for a longer list of contaminants every three years.

You can read the original posting Reminder from NHDES to Test Well Water.

To learn more about well water testing and to see a free video, go to http://www.drinkingwaterspecialists.com

Baseline Water Testing for Well Owner in Fracking Areas

Here’s a headline that caught my attention today:

Urge lawmakers to act on water testing


The crux of this Letter to Editor in the Billings (MT) Gazette from Deborah Hanson of Miles City was to urge landowners who might be affected by fracking activity going in their area to contact their state senators to support baseline water testing.

We have been urging well owners who live in areas where fracking operations are present to do this for quite some time. What this gives the well owner is just what the term ‘base testing’ implies—you now have a documented reading of the primary contaminants that a point in time…hopefully, before the fracking operation actually begins. But, even if it has already started in your area, you can still use this method. After the baseline test has been done, you will continue to have your water tested. We recommend that it be done annually, but it may need to be done more frequently if you start to see increased levels of certain contaminants or you, members of your family, or your pets and livestock start getting sick.

The writer says the testing can be expensive, and it can be. That’s why she urges the cost be covered by the companies doing the drilling. We think this is also a good idea and the right thing for the companies to do to prove they are being good citizens.

In the meantime, if I was a well owner, I wouldn’t wait for this to make its way though the legislature. I would find an economical way to have my water tested ASAP so I have my own baseline. You can go to a local lab and have this done, but it’s probably going to cost you a fair amount. That’s because labs normally price their testing on the number and specific types of parameters you want to test for.

We created a water test that is designed to be a baseline test at a very affordable price. That’s because we have a fixed set of contaminants and other parameters we test for. This saves us set up time and we pass these savings onto our customers. We believe that the cost of such a test should not be a barrier having it tested, especially in these fracking locations.

You can read the original Letter to the Editor here.

If you want to learn more, please visit our site and read about the ‘Bang-for-the-Buck’ Essential Indicators Water Test. It can either be ordered directly from us or on Amazon.