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Thursday, July 11, 2013

How to Get a Drinking Water Analysis for Your Private Well

You may think that the water in your private well is safe. But what you may not know is that the water may contain cancer-causing and toxic contaminants. Many of these don't have any smell, taste or color. So they can easily be present in the water without your knowledge.

That is why it is important to get the water tested at a lab. You owe this to your family. And while most states do not have any mandatory requirement to have your well water tested all state bodies of environmental sciences highly recommend it.

There are several accredited labs that carry out drinking water analysis for private wells. Here's a look at what you should do on your part.

When to Test Your Private Well Water

When you are purchasing a new home with a private well, it is always best to get the water tested before you buy it. Subsequently, you should carry out tests at intervals of a few years. Well water qualities are usually stable, and any changes occur slowly. If the well is well-constructed and the home is in a safe location, then you can safely get the water tested once every 3 or 5 years with the following tests:

Standard analysis for chloride, arsenic, iron, lead, bacteria, manganese, pH, nitrate, copper, fluoride, sodium and hardness Radiological analysis for radon, uranium and analytical gross alpha.

Tests for Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs.

You will need more frequent tests if the following conditions exist:

Heavy development and land use with hazardous chemicals. Recent well repairs or construction. Always get the well tested for bacteria after any repairs or plumbing changes, but only after you have flushed the water system well. High levels of any of the above contaminants in previous tests. Visible variations in quality of water, such as an odd taste or a cloudy appearance after heavy rains.


Types of Tests

There are several types of tests that you can carry out on your private well water. Here we take a look at the basic tests that are cost-effective and enough to give you a general idea of the water's quality.

Standard Analysis: The most common contaminants (as listed above) are identified with this test. Some of the contaminants may actually be harmful, while others only affect the taste and smell of the water.

Radiological Analysis: Radiological analysis will tell you if there are any radioactive elements dissolved in the water. This test is especially recommended in areas that are known to have high levels of radon in groundwater.

VOC tests: Volatile organic compounds that contaminate water mostly include compounds related to gasoline. These include benzene and MtBE as well as industrial solvents.

Other tests: Depending on where you live, there may be other tests that you should do. These include tests for herbicides, pesticides or synthetic organic compounds. Note that these tests can be expensive and performed only at select labs. You should do them if you find your water has high nitrate or nitrite levels or if you know that large amounts of pesticides have been used near the well. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Solutions to water problems

Have the drinking water in your summer cottage begun to taste iron?
Have water in your kitchen faucet started to get a yellowish tone?
If you suspect that your well is not working properly or that it leaking?


Whatever you have for problems that need addressing, there is always a good solution to your water problems!


Always start by taking a sample of water in your water that you get analyzed in a laboratory to make sure you know exactly what it is that is the problem and what creates water problem.
The most common solution to the water problem is to install some kind of filter.

A water filter can solve such problems with elevated levels of metals such as iron and manganese, or when you have too low a pH of their water. What kind of filter you need always depends on what problem you have and it is important to know with certainty what it needs to fix before buying their filters.

There are also small water filter that you put on their tap. These small filter is a good solution to the water problem that high levels of salt, chlorides, nitrites, nitrates, and various metals.

Many happen sometime out to the water at home or in the summer house starts to smell bad. The drinking water begins to smell may be due to different things and you need to first find out what kind of problems you have to then be able to find the best solution to your water problems.

If you have had problems with hydrogen sulfide or mountain gas in your well is the solution to your water problems a water aerators. An aerator adds oxygen in your water so as to reduce mountain gas, hydrogen sulfide or any other gases.

The water problem is, you have bacteria in the water solution may be a special lamp that has a UV light which kills harmful bacteria in your water.

Good water treatment


Thinking about what might be a good water treatment to get clean water at home?
If you know that you have problems with your water at home or in your summer house, there are several steps you can take to quickly get better water again.


The key is to always start by taking a sample of your water and have it analyzed by a laboratory. Only when you know exactly what the problem is with your water, you can determine what is needed to fix the problem and what water treatment is the best.

The filter is in most cases a good water treatment and there are different types of filters available to address different types of problems.

If you have started to have problems with a well that you take water from, you can buy a filter containing activated carbon. This filter cleans the water by including humus and removes bad taste and odor potential. You who have had problems with your water with a low pH level can install a filter which raises the pH.

Another common problem is that you have had too much calcium in their water which can make both home appliances and wiring limes again. A good water treatment for those who have problems with the lime content is a filter that removes calcium and magnesium. One can also add salt pellets in the filter which improves the performance even more.

Almost all types of filters should be periodically cleaned. The purpose of the various filters is to collect what you do not want in your water and the waste products therefore needs to rinse off. There are also filters that clean themselves, which means that you do not need to think about cleaning.

There are also specially designed UV lamp with an ultraviolet light that removes bacteria in your water.

Monday, January 28, 2013

EPA Methods And Guidance For The Analysis Of Water

Industries and municipalities are constrained to strict regulations in dealing with wastewater. EPA methods and guidance for the analysis of water must be strictly adhered to. They get their authority to do this from the Clean Water Act. Revisions are being developed but the current regulations have been used to develop current stipulations. EPA officials have the authority to impose whatever is necessary based on those regulations.


There are both general guidelines and those imposed on certain industries. These are thoroughly and completed explained so as to be easy to follow. Whole effluent toxicity (WET) tests have been designed to determine the overall effect of certain pollutants. Guidelines have been put in place for determining the toxicity for freshwater and marine life. These include all organisms from the absolute smallest to larger ones, such as trout and other larger organisms. 


WET impacts include both those for acute and chronic toxicity. Sampling and testing guidelines are very strict to ensure adherence. There are three manuals that they have published to help facilitate adherence to these strict regulations. They give details about the number of samples that must be collected, ranges of acceptable toxicity, and instructions concerning variation in both collection and testing.

EPA manuals of specific regulations include those listing acceptable alternative testing procedures and allowable deviations. They have stipulated specific information about tests that are not included in the CWA rules and regulations. Acceptable modifications to proposed testing as outlined in the guidelines of the CWA have also been detailed in these publications.

Means for extraction oil, gas, and grease have been detailed, following very strict procedures. Other pollutants are also addressed, with stipulations as to the concentrations that are allowable. These pollutants include, among others, cyanide and mercury. There are very strict levels of concentration that have to be adhered to based on stipulated rules.


One concern to EPA officials is a newly developing condition. This condition is the increase in pollutant levels for such things as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and perflourinated substances. These substances are called Contaminants of Emerging Concern because of the nature of their recent increase and continued rising levels of contamination. They are recognized for their potential harm and are being closely investigated and monitored closely, as well as being looked at to try and determine from where the contamination originates.


Drinking water testing and analysis has special regulations of its own. They are stricter than other regulations, and must be strictly followed without deviation. Provisions are outlined for a variety of potential contaminating situations, such as floods and severe storms like hurricanes. There must be strict monitoring of contaminate levels, and safe levels must be strictly followed for the safety of consumers.

Methods and guidance for the analysis of water that EPA officials demand cannot guarantee safety at all times, but do help keep everything clean and safe and within certain guidelines. Efforts are ongoing, with tests and investigations continuing on a daily basis to ensure safety of all consumers. There is some comfort in realizing that someone is attempting to ensure the safety of all.