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TapWatch Drinking Water Tests

Do you test your drinking water every year? The National Ground Water Association recommends that private well owners test their drinking water annually for bacteria, nitrates, and any other contaminants that are known to be of concern in your area.

Is your drinking water safe if it comes from municipal water sources? Public water is tested regularly at the source, but does not account for toxins that accumulate in outdated plumbing systems. Lead and copper from plumbing fixtures, and hexavalent chromium from degraded corrosion inhibitors, can be introduced into your tap water.

Select from one of our four kits and bring your tap water sample directly from your home to The Watershed Center. This program provides EPA-certified drinking water information you need to keep your family safe.

Have questions about collecting your sample, dropping off your kit, or your water quality results? Feel free to contact us at [email protected].

Test for the five most common toxic contaminants in NJ well water, and physical characteristics that leech metals from pipes. Annual testing is recommended.
  • Arsenic, Nitrate, Lead & Copper
  • Corrosivity & Hardness
  • Gross Alpha Radiation
  • Fecal Bacteria
  • $220.50 for Members / $245 for Nonmembers
Test for toxic metals that can leech into your water from pipes, as well as risk for future exposure. Recommended for homes built before 1987 or those with public water serviced by older infrastructure.
  • Corrosivity & Hardness
  • Lead & Copper
  • $108 for Members / $120 for Nonmembers

The Volatile Organic Compound (V.O.C.) test is a recommended add-on for well water.
Recommended when you encounter a “chemical” smell, or for residents near to gas stations, dry cleaners, & industrial areas.

  • $103 for Members / $115 for Nonmembers
A budget-friendly option for residents concerned about lead. Recommended for homes built before 1987 or those with public water serviced by older infrastructure
  • $27 Members / $30 for Nonmembers

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I participate in TapWatch?

Do you know what’s in your drinking water? If not, it’s time that you find out!

Well water systems take water from underground aquifers. Many contaminants that enter groundwater sources are naturally-occurring, while others are worsened by local sources of pollution. Either way, testing for these contaminants will help you know that your drinking water is safe. We recommend that residents test their well water annually.

Public water systems are tested regularly, but there are contaminants that can enter your drinking water on the journey from the treatment plant to your faucet. Lead and copper can leach out of the pipes into your water, so it’s important to test regularly for these metals to make sure your drinking water is safe for the whole family.

Who is testing my water? Is the lab certified for drinking water analysis?

Drinking water samples will be tested by Garden State Laboratories in Hillside, NJ.

Garden State Labs has more than 75 years of water testing experience and is certified by NJDEP for drinking water analysis. Some tests, including nitrate and bacterial analysis, may be analyzed at The Watershed Institute’s laboratory.

What is the discount for members of The Watershed Institute?

Members of The Watershed Institute receive a 10% discount for all tests. The prices for the TapWatch WELL WATER kit are $50 for members and $60 for nonmembers. The TapWatch PLUS kit with VOC tests is $90 for members and $105 for nonmembers.

Non-members can choose to become a member when ordering TapWatch test services to receive discounted prices. 

Watershed members also receive discounted educational programs and events on the Watershed Reserve, discounts at the Watershed Nature Shop, our quarterly Wellspring newsletter mailed to your home, and the knowledge that they have supported a cleaner central New Jersey.

 

How do I obtain a TapWatch kit?

TapWatch kits are available in the Watershed Center Nature Shop. Please visit us when we are open from Mon-Fri 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Sat-Sun 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

What is the difference between the four types of TapWatch kits?

How do I collect water samples?

Instructions for collecting your drinking water sample are included with your TapWatch kit. We suggest taking samples from your kitchen sink because that is where you get most of your drinking water at home. Samples should be collected on the same day that you intend to drop off your samples.

When should I drop off my samples?

Garden State Laboratories will pick up samples on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month. Drop off your samples at the Welcome Desk at The Watershed Center any time between 7:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

How long does it take to get the results?

You should expect to receive your drinking water test results within 14 business days.

What if something is wrong with my drinking water?

First, don’t panic. You may want to conduct another test for the parameter that exceeded water quality standards to confirm the result. There are a number of filters and other solutions to reduce bacteria and metal concentrations in your water. We can make a few recommendations with your test results.

I am required to test my well water before selling my house. Can I use TapWatch to satisfy that requirement?

The Private Well Testing Act requires water quality testing for home sale to be performed by a certified professional and collected at the well head. With TapWatch, you will collect your own water samples from your tap, so TapWatch cannot be used to satisfy this legal requirement.

Questions about this program?

Email [email protected] or call Watershed Scientist Nik Hansen at 609-737-3735 ext. 54

The Watershed Institute does not assume liability for drinking water results. Improper sampling procedures and/or handling may lead to sample contamination which may produce inaccurate test results.

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