water testing

Asked August 9, 2015, 1:35 PM EDT

How do I get my water professionally tested? My property in Philadelphia PA. The city recently dug up the street by my house and since then the pipes in the home have been rusting and my water heater, and furnace have rusted and have busted pipes. Both the water heater and furnace are newly replaced. They have just been replaced 2 yrs ago. I am trying to figure out if the city's recent underground pipe work has caused these sudden problems.

Philadelphia County Pennsylvania drinking water public water systems

1 Response

The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection accredits drinking water testing laboratories. You can use one of those labs to test the chemistry of the water. You could test for corrosiveness of the water (a measure of whether it is likely to degrade metal pipes) but it would be unusual for the chemistry of the city water supply to suddenly change enough to quickly degrade the pipes. There are no commercial labs in Philadelphia that I've found in the DEP directory but there are some in neighboring counties and Penn State's lab in State College takes samples by mail. But the question is what tests to run and whether that will answer the question.

Have you had changes in the water itself - taste, smell, color, stains, particles?

What type of pipes do you have (PVC, copper, other metals, combination)?

Did anything about the water pressure change? Was water service turned on or off, or did you get air bubbles or hammering noises in the water pipes? It seems to me a pressure change would be more sudden than a chemistry change.

Is there any information about your neighborhood here? http://www.phila.gov/water/aboutus/Pages/Notifications.aspx If there was a water main break in your neighborhood, then a boil water notice (in case of bacteria entering the break) may have been issued.

Have you talked to anyone at Philadelphia Water Department yet?

I would be happy to talk to you further about this but it might be easier by direct email or phone.