When Seth Seewald began doing clinical work in the basement of his pharmacy more than 70 years ago, he had no way of knowing that the gas industry would move into town one day - benefiting the laboratory.
But, that is just what happened. Today, Bob and Gerri Chianelli, Seewald's daughter and son-in-law, run the business and have done so since 1978, when Seewald sold them the business.
Over the years, the business has had it ups and downs.
But, in the last couple years, business volume has forced the lab to increase both employees and facility space, according to Bob Chianelli.
Needs for even more expansion are forcing the Chianelli's to look at either a renovation or relocation, that will double the business's space.
"What is going on as a result of the Shale is we have added staff. We have added equipment. Because of adding equipment, we used up the expanded square footage that we added on. Now, we need to expand even more in terms of square footage. We are looking at additional equipment to try to provide a quality turnaround time for all of our clients," said John J. Tobin, the business's general manager.
Testing water in wells near Marcellus Shale drilling sites makes up a bulk of the growing work done through the lab that is associated with the gas industry.
Water is tested for both the gas companies and individuals worried that their wells may be impacted by the drilling process, according to Gerri Chianelli.
"We were in the right place at the right time. We have always been doing water testing for private homeowners for real estate transactions and mortgage companies to check compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. When the industry moved into the area and needed immediate analysis of drinking water and waste water we were here," Tobin said.
Generally wells have not been impacted by the drilling and only one well tested was affected by the gas industry, according to Tobin
The one well was not affected because of the drilling.
It was because of the sediment that got into the water, Tobin said.
In a week, the business may test the water in about 40 area wells because the gas industry has been mandated to have wells within 1,000 feet of the top hole of the drilling tested, according to Tobin.
However, some gas companies are going out further than the 1,000 feet and some private well owners that fall outside of the guidelines are also calling the lab asking for the testing to be done as a precautionary measure, he said.
"Surface activities are more than likely to cause a problem than the deep well drilling," Tobin said.
Regardless, it is better to be safe than sorry, when testing drinking water, according to Bob Chianelli.