Water Quality Tests
There are many tests that can be performed on your well water to determine its water quality. This is a list of the most commonly performed tests and their recommended testing frequencies.
Because bacteria and nitrate are the most common contaminants of well water, they should be tested most frequently. The minerals test is recommended for the purposes of developing a baseline understanding of your water and as a way to indicate water quality changes.
If the lab report shows the presence of total coliform bacteria look for the cause, eliminate it if possible, and continue to test the water at an increased frequency. You may consider installing a treatment system such as distillation, chemical disinfection or ultraviolet radiation. Consult a water treatment professional for more advice.
If >45 mg/I N03 or >1Omg/I N03-N, install a treatment device or find an alternative water supply. Increase the testing frequency. Filtration using reverse osmosis will remove some of the nitrate. Consult a water treatment professional for more advice.
Most water testing companies offer a group minerals test for all listed minerals. Be sure to compare the results with previous results. The levels listed below are set by the State CCR Standards for Drinking Water. If mineral levels are greater than or equal to these levels, you should install a treatment system or determine an alternative supply of water. An appropriate treatment system is dependent on the minerals to be removed.Consult a water treatment professional for more advice.
WATER TESTING & FEES
Regular water tests are recommended for all household water systems. Owners of private wells should test their drinking water based on the following recommendations:
Drilled wells: 1 sample every 12 months
Dug wells: 1 sample every 3 months
Springs: 1 sample every 3 months
Payment will be collected when the sample bottles are returned. If your water sample shows bacteriological contamination (unsatisfactory for coliform bacteria, fecal coliform, or E.coli), follow the CDC’s recommendations for disinfection of your well.
UNDERSTANDING WATER TESTING RESULTS
The Snohomish Health District established primary drinking water requirements to help determine if your water supply is safe to drink. After your water samples are tested, you will receive an advisory in the mail if your well water has a detectable concentration of certain minerals and bacteria that may pose a risk to you and the community.
MCLS & SMCLS
Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) represent the level of risk a contaminant poses to your health and the environment. Secondary Maximum Contaminant Levels (SMCLs) are standards for contaminants that may make your water have an unpleasant taste, odor, or appearance.
To ensure that your water is safe to drink, it should meet the following minimum requirements:
Aluminum (proposed SMCL: 0.05 milligrams per liter (mg/L))
Arsenic (MCL: 0.010 mg/L) (required test)
Asbestos (proposed MCL: 7 million fibers/liter over 10 microns long)
Bacteria, coliform (required test) (MCL: 0 present utilizing the presence/absence methods)
Barium (MCL: 2.0 mg/L) (required test)
Cadmium (MCL: 05 mg/L) (required test)
Chloride (SMCL: 250 mg/L)
Chromium (MCL: 0.10 mg/L) (required test)
Copper (SMCL: 1.3 mg/L)
Fluoride (MCL: 4 mg/L, SMCL: 2 mg/L) (required test)
Hardness (No standard established)
Iron (SMCL: 0.30 mg/L)
Lead (Environmental Protection Agency action level: 0.015 mg/L) (required test)
Manganese (SMCL: 0.05 mg/L)
Mercury (MCL: 02 mg/L) (required test)
Nitrate (MCL: 10 mg/L) (required test)
Selenium (MCL: 0.05 mg/L) (required test)
Silver (MCL: 0.05 mg/L) (required test)
Sodium (no standard established) (required test)
Sulfate (SMCL: 250 mg/L)
Zinc (SMCL: 5 mg/L)
What are Microplastics?
The definition of microplastics is small plastic particles less than 5 mm, with many microplastics being smaller than 1 mm. They may be small pieces of manufactured plastic (microbeads) used as additives to health and beauty products or plastic pellets that are used as raw material in the industry are unintentionally spread into the environment during transport and production; alternatively they may derive from larger plastic debris that degrades into smaller and smaller pieces.
Testing for Microplastics
method is based on the NOAA method detailed in NOS-OR&R-48 which is applicable to materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinylchloride and polystyrene defined as microplastics sized between 5 mm to 0.3 mm. The method is applicable to water, beach and bed samples and employs a mixture of filtration methods, chemical oxidation processes and finally inspection under a microscope to confirm the presence of microplastics which are then weighed the quantity determined gravimetrically.
Most of the testing done in the Water Microbiology Laboratory is for regulated public water supplies. The laboratory is certified by the EPA which is required by the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Water Microbiology Laboratory must use the standards specified in the Act. The Safe Drinking Water Act also outlines the standards for the bacterial quality of public drinking water. The Water Microbiology Laboratory at ADH tests for total coliform bacteria and E. coli, which are the indicator organisms for bacterial contamination specified in the Safe Drinking Water Act. In addition, the ADH offers laboratory certification in microbiology for public water utility laboratories that meet state and Environmental Protection Agency criteria for laboratory certification
Private/Well Water Testing
The laboratory also tests private drinking water samples. However, since private water sources are not regulated, there are no standards for the bacterial quality of these samples. Private citizens can only submit samples from their wells, springs, cisterns, etc. to be tested for total coliforms and E. coli, which are indicators of bacterial contamination in drinking water. Samples will not be tested for minerals, parasites, or chemicals. For these tests consult a private laboratory. If you have a public health concern (such as an illness), consult your county environmental specialist or the ADH division of engineering for assistance.
Water samples must be collected in an official ADH sample container. The sample bottle will have a white tablet or powder inside the sample bottle. This tablet is a chemical called sodium thiosulfate, which is necessary for the testing process. The tablet should not be removed from the sample bottle. In addition, the bottle should not be rinsed or wiped out. Once the sample is collected it must be received in time to analyze it within 30 hours of collection.
This is the entrance off Palm Street labeled the “Sample Receiving Dock.” The tests done at the Public Health Laboratory help determine the safety of drinking water for human consumption. The lab does not evaluate water ponds or other bodies of water to determine if the water is safe for fish or livestock to drink or for any other purpose.
The most common reason that individuals get their private drinking water sources tested is mortgage companies often require “safe” drinking water results before closing on a home mortgage. Most mortgage companies require that testing be done in an EPA-certified laboratory.
Ensuring compliance with potable water testing regulations on ships: a complete guide
Ship owners, managers, shipyards and crew manning agencies must all understand how the regulations titled, ‘Food and Catering: Provision of Food and Fresh Water’ affect them and develop and implement measures to ensure ongoing compliance with the requirements relates specifically to freshwater loading and supply arrangements, disinfection, storage, distribution systems and maintenance. The minimum requirements needed to ensure the supply of drinking and fresh water are outlined, as well as measures to prevent any risk of contamination.
It’s possible to prevent waterborne disease outbreaks and toxic poisoning due to contaminated potable water. The contributing factors to outbreaks and illness emphasise the need for hygienic handling of water along the supply chain from source to consumption.
Developing a Fresh Water Safety Plan
The most effective means of ensuring the safety of a fresh water supply is through the use of a risk assessment and management approach that covers the whole process from loading to delivery at the tap and includes a planned maintenance system. All of the information gathered should be used to develop a Fresh Water Safety Plan (FWSP), particularly for ships with a complex system, which could be incorporated into the ship’s planned maintenance system.
A should be based on; system assessment and hazard analysis (including an assessment of source water loaded on to the ship); a management plan and control measures (the selection and operation of appropriate treatment processes); a monitoring and corrective action system in accordance with the FWSP (the prevention of contamination/re-contamination during storage and distribution.)
Potable water testing as part of a Fresh Water Safety Plan
Regular potable water testing is vital as part of an effective monitoring system in. Potable water test kits are designed to ensure the maintenance of high quality water throughout the potable water network on ships. Kits are now available that are incredibly safe, easy-to-use and cost-effective. Accurate tests give a colour change in the presence of harmful indicator bacteria which might be present in the event of contamination to the water onboard.