How do I know my well water is contaminated?

Contaminated water

Well Water and Water Quality testingĀ 

Access to clean and safe drinking water is vital for the health and well-being of individuals and communities. For those who rely on well water, regular testing is crucial to ensure water quality and identify potential contaminants. In this article, we will explore the significance of well water testing, with a focus on key parameters such as total hardness, free chlorine, iron, copper, lead, nitrate, nitrite, MPS, total chlorine, fluoride, cyanuric acid, chlorine dioxide, QAC, total alkalinity, carbonate, pH, and TDS. Understanding these parameters can help individuals make informed decisions about their water sources and take appropriate actions to maintain water quality.

Total Hardness:

Total hardness refers to the mineral content in water, primarily composed of calcium and magnesium. Testing for total hardness provides insight into water’s potential to cause scale buildup and affect the efficiency of appliances. Results are typically measured in parts per million (PPM), with the acceptable range varying from 0 to 425 PPM.

Free Chlorine and Total Chlorine:

Chlorine is commonly used as a disinfectant in water treatment. Testing for free chlorine and total chlorine levels helps ensure that water is adequately treated and free from harmful microorganisms. The acceptable range for both parameters is typically 0 to 10 PPM.

Iron, Copper, and Lead:

Testing for heavy metals such as iron, copper, and lead is crucial to identify potential sources of contamination. These metals can leach into well water from pipes, plumbing fixtures, or natural deposits. Elevated levels of these metals can have adverse health effects. The acceptable range for iron and lead is typically 0 to 500 PPM, while for copper, it is 0 to 10 PPM.

Nitrate and Nitrite:

Nitrate and nitrite levels in well water are indicators of potential agricultural or fertilizer contamination. High levels of these compounds can pose health risks, particularly for infants and pregnant women. Nitrate levels are measured in PPM and should ideally be below 10 PPM, while nitrite levels should be below 80 PPM.


MPS, Fluoride, Cyanuric Acid, Chlorine Dioxide, and QAC:

Testing for additional parameters such as MPS (monopersulfate), fluoride, cyanuric acid, chlorine dioxide, and QAC (quaternary ammonium compounds) helps assess water quality in terms of disinfection byproducts and sanitizer residues. The acceptable ranges for these parameters may vary depending on specific regulations and local guidelines.


Total Alkalinity, Carbonate, pH, and TDS:

Testing for total alkalinity, carbonate, pH, and TDS (total dissolved solids) provides insights into water chemistry and its potential effects on plumbing systems, taste, and overall quality. The acceptable range for total alkalinity is typically 0 to 240 PPM, carbonate levels vary within the same range, and pH should fall between 6 and 9. TDS levels are measured in PPM, with lower concentrations generally indicating better water quality.


Safe Drinking water

Regular well water testing is essential for ensuring the safety and quality of drinking water. Parameters such as total hardness, free chlorine, iron, copper, lead, nitrate, nitrite, MPS, total chlorine, fluoride, cyanuric acid, chlorine dioxide, QAC, total alkalinity, carbonate, pH, and TDS provide valuable information about water chemistry and potential contaminants. By conducting thorough testing and understanding the acceptable ranges for these parameters, individuals can take appropriate actions to address any issues and safeguard their water supply. Consulting with water testing professionals and adhering to local regulations and guidelines is crucial for maintaining clean and healthy well water for all.