The Threats of Drinking Contaminated Water
|Contaminant||EPA MCL (mg/L)||Potential Health effects from exposure above the MCL||Common sources of contaminate in drinking water|
|Total Coliform (includes fecal coliform & E. coli)||zero presence||Indicate whether potentially harmful bacteria may be present.||Coliforms are naturally present in the environment.|
|Nitrates, Total||10||Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome.||Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural deposits.|
|Arsenic||0.010||Skin damage or problems with circulatory systems, and may have increased risk of getting cancer.||Erosion of natural deposits; runoff from orchards, runoff from glass and electronics production waste.|
|Lead||Action Level = 0.015||Infants and children: Delays in physical or mental development; children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities; Adults: Kidney problems; high blood pressure.||Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits.|
Arsenic/Nitrate Testing Requirements
As of 10/1/14, all real estate transactions on a private well that require a well inspection will require that the water be tested for bacteria, nitrates and total arsenic.
The DNR has stated that “due to the chemical nature of arsenic in ground water, it must be recognized by all that arsenic levels can change with time. There is no such thing as an iron clad clean bill of health”.
On-site Water Testing
• Hardness of your water
• Iron levels
• TDS (Total Dissolved Solids)
On-site water testing involves a quick water analysis performed on your property itself. These tests can also check pH to get a snapshot of water quality.
Off-site Testing Services
Off-site water testing involves taking a sample of your water to a laboratory for in depth-inspections. Guthrie & Frey will collect and deliver the sample to the laboratory and communicate the water test results to you along with professional recommendations on correcting your water.
• Coliform bacteria test
• Results will display “Safe” or “Unsafe” and a corrective action plan will be put into place.
Coliform bacteria is a group of microorganisms found in plants, soil, and surface water. The bacteria can seep through cracked or poorly sealed wells and contaminate your drinking water causing a range of health hazards. Our safety test system will let you know whether your water is safe to drink.
How do we test water quality?
Guthrie & Frey can do on-site home water testing or send samples of your water to an outside lab to be tested for contaminants.
Are home water test kits accurate?
We’ve had customers use these kits and although they will catch some contaminants, they can not detect everything like a lab can. Our water analysis is free, which is better than buying a kit! Give us a call to schedule your test. When it comes to your water, leave it to the experts!
How do you know if water is contaminated?
Some contaminants cause yellow, red, or black stains on tubs and sinks. Other contaminants, such as sulfur, will give your water a “rotten egg” smell. However, if your water has arsenic, the only way to know is by having your water treated as it doesn’t cause any physical changes. The only way to know for sure what is in your water is to have it professionally tested.
How much does it cost to have your water tested?
Free water tests include hardness, iron, sulfur, & pH testing.
How often should I have my water tested?
The DNR recommends that people with private wells annually have their well tested for safety. This water test is sent to a private lab.