Organic Contaminants Testing in Vermont

Organic Contaminants Testing in Vermont

The Vermont Department of Health Laboratory (VDHL) has the ability to analyze drinking water samples for multiple chemical contaminants.

  • To request a kit by mail, view/print out our order form and send it in with a form of payment.
  • Kits can also be purchased in person or over the phone; visit our Contact Us and Directions page for more information.

Find drop-off locations for your drinking water test kits

volatile organic compounds (vocs)

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in drinking water include a group of organic compounds that have a high vapor pressure and low solubility in water, i.e., chemicals that would prefer to volatilize into the atmosphere then to stay dissolved in the water. Some volatile organic compounds, like acetone, can be found in nature, however most VOCs in water come from manufacturing, industrial, and petrochemicals processes; they can also be found in many chemicals used in your home. VOCs are primarily found as a result of fuel spills.

To test water for VOCs the VDHL offers a Kit OA. More information on this kit can be found on our Forms and Ordering page.

More information on VOCs from the EPA.

disinfection by products

Disinfection By-products form when disinfecting agents react with naturally-occurring organic compounds in the water that are being treated. This water has been processed and treated with an oxidizing agent to remove and control bacterial and pathogen regrowth in order to prevent illness. This test is typically for municipal/public water supplies and isn't commonly a problem for untreated Private Systems/Well Water or spring water unless the source has been repeatedly shock disinfected, uses a disinfection agent, or is impacted or influenced by runoff or water that contains Disinfection By-products.

To test water for disinfection by-products, the VDHL offers a Kit OB and a Kit OK. Compounds in these tests result from chlorinating water. This series is primarily for municipal systems. More information on these kits can be found on our Forms and Ordering page.

More information on Disinfection By-Products from the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Synthetic organic chemicals (SOCs)

SOCs are man-made organic compounds generally used in agricultural and industrial processes such as pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, fuel additives and more. Examples include Atrazine, 2,4-D, Dioxin and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). See the drop down information below for more details.

Semi volatile chemicals and Pesticides

To test water for semi volatile chemicals and pesticides the VDHL offers a Kit OL. The compounds most likely to be found in Vermont are Atrazine and Simazine. More information on this kit can be found on our Forms and Ordering page.

More information on Atrazine from the EPA.

Herbicides in Water

Herbicides like Pentachlorophenol have been used in older style pressure treated wood products and on power poles.To test water for herbicides the VDHL offers a Kit OE. More information on this kit can be found on our Forms and Ordering page.

Carbamate Pesticides

Carbamate pesticides are used widely as insecticides in homes, gardens, and agriculture. To test water for carbamate the VDHL offers a Kit OG. More information on this kit can be found on our Forms and Ordering page.

EDB/DBCP/ and 1,2,3 trichloropropane

EDB/DBCP/ and 1,2,3 trichloropropane are widely used as pesticides. If it is suspected that the spraying of an insecticide has contaminated your well, the VDHL offers a Kit OH to test your water. More information on this kit can be found on our Forms and Ordering page.