Water Analysis Laboratory (WAL) Program

The NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL) WAL Program provides testing services of water, wastewater, hazardous materials, soils, and other matrices for DHHS, other state agencies, and New Hampshire citizens.

The WAL Program is a full-service laboratory offering testing for microbiology, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and radiochemistry analytes.  We are accredited by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. We maintain a rigorous quality assurance program to ensure its capability to accurately determine many analytical parameters. Based on our quality assurance program, along with on-site audits of the laboratory processes, the WAL Program maintains full accreditation for potable and non-potable water parameters. Please see the full list of all parameters for which we are currently accredited.

The WAL Program provides the following testing services:

  • Microbiology – tests for bacterial organisms that can be found primarily in water; total coliform and E. coli are the primary bacterial indicators. 
  • Inorganic Chemistry – test for the non-carbon elements and associated compounds found in our environment, including metals such as arsenic and lead, nutrient compounds containing nitrogen and phosphorus, and physical measurements such as pH and specific conductance. 
  • Organic Chemistry – tests for chemicals containing the element carbon, such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) including the gasoline constituent methyl tertiary butyl ether (MtBE); other petroleum products, industrial solvents, pesticides, and herbicides are common tests. 
  • Radiochemistry – tests inorganic radioactive elements, primarily uranium and radon.
  • Homeowner Water Testing – The WAL Program provides comprehensive testing for analytes in private wells of New Hampshire homeowners.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) and the DHHS Division of Public Health Services encourage all homeowners who have their own well to test their water periodically.  Testing for all the recommended parameters is available on a fee-for-service basis. Upon completion of each analysis, homeowners receive a full report along with an interpretation of their test results. In addition, staff is available to provide an unbiased assessment of the water quality and to provide further information on available references and treatment options. Other environmentally specific situations and related laboratory services should be discussed with WAL directly.

The NH DES Be Well Informed Guide is designed to help homeowners understand water test results and provides information about health concerns and water treatment choices.

Contact the WAL Program with any questions.