Soil and Water Testing LaboratoriesIn general, you should have a basic idea of what substances you want your soil or water samples to be tested for, or at least why you want the sample tested. For example, "Why don't the shrubs grow well in this location?"
Most private testing labs can perform a wide range of tests. Typical soil tests for the homeowner might include items such as nutrients, pH (acidity or alkalinity), and trace minerals, along with recommendations for what nutrients might need to be added. Keep in mind that a soil's physical structure, and how well it holds or releases water also affects plant growth. Some labs can also perform tests on soil for other toxic substances or pollutants, as identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), such as heavy metals or organic compounds like PCBs. For other general questions on horticulture, contact the Montgomery County Office of the Ohio State University Extension, at 224-9654.
The most common substance tested for in water is bacterial contamination, which can be a serious health concern. Other substances tested for in water might include pH, nutrients, pesticides, minerals, or heavy metals. Your water can also be tested for "hardness" (mineral content) to see if you should have a water softener, to prevent mineral deposits on dishes, sinks, etc.
Listed below are the names and contact information for several testing laboratories. Unless otherwise noted, you may assume that they perform the most commonly requested tests on water and soil samples. For more specific information, price lists, and shipping instructions, call the telephone numbers listed or visit the web sites.
(800) 436-1243 www.alloway.com
(937) 832-8242 www.belmontlabs.com
(419) 753-2448 www.blinc.com
(614) 523-1005 http://www.calmarlabs.com/
(800) 344-1101 www.holmeslab.com
(517) 432-8185 www.fw.msu.edu/~rosejo/index.htm
(937) 781-3016 www.mcohio.org/water
(800) 321-1562 www.spectrumanalytic.com
Michigan State University
-web site only a simple list of
prices for specific tests. Call
for more details.
Montgomery County Environmental Lab
-testing bottles and instructions for
this lab can be picked up at the
Montgomery SWCD office. Call
(937) 854-7645 for more details.
- no water testing
Montgomery Soil and Water Conservation District
Helping People and Communities Care for Land and Water