Total Coliform Bacteria – Indicator organism used to assess sanitary quality of water. Result must be 0 or Absent.
Alkalinity – Acid-neutralizing capability of water.
Ammonia – A gas that is an indication of organic waste.
Arsenic – Naturally occurring heavy metal found in some well waters.
Calcium – Naturally occurring mineral which is the primary component of hardness. Used in some road salts.
Chloride – A component of salt. High concentrations may taste salty and may cause corrosion of metals.
Chlorine – A disinfectant that may affect taste and/or odor.
Color – Color is considered an aesthetic problem and can be used to confirm problems such as high iron and/or manganese.
Conductivity – The ability of water to carry an electrical current. Directly proportional to amount of total dissolved solids.
Copper – Present in most home plumbing systems. Blue/green stains in sinks and tubs is a prime indicator of copper corrosion, usually the result of low pH.
Hardness – Soft 0-60 mg/L; Moderate 61-120 mg/L; Hard 121-180 mg/L; Very hard >181 mg/L. To convert mg/L to grains per gallon, divide by 17.1.
Iron – Naturally occurring element in well waters. May cause brown stains, discolored water, and bad taste.
Lead – Found in some plumbing fixtures, and older homes that may have used lead solder.
Magnesium – Naturally occurring mineral that contributes to total hardness.
Manganese – Naturally occurring element in well waters. May cause stains, bad taste and odor.
Nitrate – May originate from failed septic systems, agricultural run-off, organic decay, and excessive use of lawn fertilizers.
Nitrite – An intermediate form of nitrate that is part of the naturally occurring Nitrogen Cycle.
Odor – The intensity of odor is reported in a threshold odor number, with zero indicating that no odor is present.
pH – Acid/Base determination. Neutral is 7.0; Acidic is <7.0, Basic is >7.0.
Potassium – An abundant element generally found in water systems.
Sediment – A visual determination of the presence or absence of sediment in water.
Sodium – Found in most waters; component of salt. High levels may indicate road salt intrusion.
Sulfate – Widely distributed in nature and usually found in ground water.
Turbidity – The clarity or cloudiness of water.
MCL – Maximum Contaminant Level (or limit)
MRL - Minimum Reporting Level (the lowest we can report)
Any results that exceed the MCL, if one applies, will be flagged with a # sign.
The guideline of 20 mg/L for Sodium when exceeded does not require treatment of the water to reduce the levels to prevent adverse health effects on public health. Rather the guideline represents a level of sodium in water that physicians and sodium sensitive individuals should be aware of in cases where sodium exposures are being carefully controlled.
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