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Recommended Initial Testing

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Recommended Annual Testing

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Which Tests to Use If You Suspect A Specific Contaminant / Or Group of Contaminants

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#Sewage, animal waste, human waste, pathogenic (disease causing) bacteria, sludge application, pathogenic viruses

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#Bacteria, Fungi (toxic mold and others), protozoans (ex. Giardia lamblia and Cryptospordium), Algae, additional pathogenic microorganisms, fouling bacteria

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#Pesticides, Herbicides, Insecticides, Fertilizers and other gardening and agricultural contaminants, contamination by sewage, animal or human waste. Virtually all organics in this category are known carcinogens

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Arsenic, Lead, Mercury, Heavy Metals, Toxic Chemicals

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#Industrial pollution, construction, surface and subsurface disturbances, damaged water distribution system (underground pipes etc), large amounts of bacterial growth in plumbing, or well, or municipal water distribution system.

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#Toxic and non-toxic minerals and toxic metal contamination (including heavy metals) and limited organic contamination Some of these are HIGHLY toxic and carcinogen

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#Iron Related Bacteria: foul plumbing and toilet tanks, produce biofilm that coats the insides of toilets, coffee makers, water heaters, etc. Can cause premature failure of water- utilizing devices. Inactivate purification devices

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#Sulfur Reducing Bacteria: premature failure of water- utilizing devices. Most important, any filtration devices will become contaminated and be inactivated (rendered ineffective) by growth of these bacteria. Rotten Egg Odor may indicate bacteria are...

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#Slime Forming Bacteria: foul plumbing and toilet tanks, produce biofilm. Filtration devices will become contaminated and be inactivated (rendered ineffective). Some cause disease

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There can be over 100,000 bacteria per ounce of water, yet the water appear crystal clear

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If you have not had a water test before then your first water test should include ALL of the following:

Coliforms

E. coli (or fecal coliforms)

Microscopic exam by a qualified professional microbiologist

Temperature

Conductivity (electrical conductivity)

pH

Nitrate

Total Dissolved Solids

Color

Turbidity

Free Chlorine

Total Chlorine

Total Hardness

Total Alkalinity

Phosphorus

Potassium

Calcium

Magnesium

Manganese

Iron

Aluminum

Boron

Copper

Zinc

Sodium

Cadmium

Nitrogen

Chromium

Molybdenum

Chloride

Fluoride

Phosphate

Sulfate

Nitrate

 

 

 Note: Test strips often give false negative and false positive and inaccurate results because they react with chemicals in the water, other than those they are designed to test for. Without proper chemical pretreatment of a sample, if are relying on results from test strips, you probably have a very inaccurate picture of what is your drinking water.

Because of the geology of the region, if you live in North Georgia you should also have your drinking water tested for: 

Arsenic (we have already found wells in use that have arsenic in excess of EPA guidelines)

Lead

Mercury

(in other areas of the country we can advise you about which contaminants are likely to be found in water in your area)

The results of this series of tests may indicate that there is NO need for any treatment of your water. In that case the EPA recommends annual retesting for a more limited group of parameters, which are less expensive. Annual retesting is a must, because groundwater flow is constantly changing, especially with all the new building, well drilling, old wells being closed etc. So your water this year may be fine, but in a few weeks you may be getting very different water from your well. Annual testing gives you some assurance that your water is still safe. And now it is affordable!!!

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We recommend and offer an annual test for $98.00 (a $260 value) that includes:

Coliforms

E. coli (or fecal coliforms)

Microscopic exam by a qualified professional microbiologist

Temperature

Conductivity (electrical conductivity)

pH

Nitrate

Total Dissolved Solids

Color

Turbidity

Free Chlorine

Total Chlorine

Total Hardness

Total Alkalinity

 

 The EPA recommends annual testing. We agree and are doing the best we can to make it AFFORDABLE. We guarantee that you cannot get better rates anywhere for this group of tests. If you can, we'll match their prices.

Make sure you get all of these parameters at the same time and a qualified water treatment specialist (not the lab-which lacks the expertise to advise you and cannot recommend specific systems) to review them with you to let you know what those results mean and how to properly purify your water.

 

If you have the results from all these tests, we will be happy to review and analyze your results and make recommendations for a nominal fee of $45.00. This is very inexpensive to get a professional opinion from an unbiased water treatment specialist. We can also give you information on what purification devices, if any, are needed so you will know exactly what to shop for and why.

 For  more details please read on:

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Which Tests to Use Based on Which Contaminants You Suspect or Would Like to Detect

Following is a list of common contaminants and the tests that are used to indicate their presence. Indicator tests do not necessarily test directly for the contaminant, but indicate whether or not one should conduct further testing or take corrective action. If results for indicators come back positive, further specific testing may or may not be needed. If negative, it does not mean there are no contaminants in the water, only that they are present at acceptable levels. Most often this is all the testing that is required to know how to purify your water!!

 

Contaminant group I:

Sewage, animal waste, human waste, pathogenic (disease causing) bacteria, sludge application, pathogenic viruses

test you should have performed:

Coliforms Test, E. coli Test (= Fecal coliform) (Both are included in our Rapid Screen Test)

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Contaminant group II:

Bacteria, Fungi (toxic mold and others), protozoans (ex. Giardia lamblia and Cryptospordium), Algae, additional pathogenic microorganisms, fouling bacteria

test you should have performed:

Visual observations, microscopic observations, (included in Rapid Screen Test) or microbiological growth on select media (ex. Slime forming bacteria, Sulfur Bacteria, Iron Bacteria tests we offer, as well as others we can recommend if needed.)

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Contaminant group III:

Pesticides, Herbicides, Insecticides, Fertilizers and other gardening and agricultural contaminants, contamination by sewage, animal or human waste. Virtually all organics in this category are known carcinogens, or teratogens, or damage kidney, liver, or nervous system and are on the EPA's priority pollutants list.

test you should have performed:

Nitrate or Phosphate: Especially Nitrate, which is itself toxic and carcinogenic, is an indication of enrichment by fertilization in some form (included in our Rapid Screen Test). Note: Specific testing for any single compound (herbicide, pesticide, VOC or SOC), or certain groups of these compounds are available, and are recommended, but are more expensive. If nitrate tests are positive further testing for pesticides and herbicides is advised.

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Contaminant group IV:

Arsenic a pesticide and a mineral present naturally in many parts of the country. Is itself toxic and a suspected carcinogen at sublethal doses

test you should have performed:

Arsenic test (included in our Rapid Screen Test)

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Contaminant group V:

Industrial pollution, construction, surface and subsurface disturbances, damaged water distribution system (underground pipes etc), large amounts of bacterial growth in plumbing, or well, or municipal water distribution system.

test you should have performed:

Turbidity test (included in our Rapid Screen Test)

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Contaminant group VI:

Toxic and non-toxic minerals and toxic metal contamination (including heavy metals) and limited organic contamination Monitor changes from baseline established using complete series in first round of testing. Some of these are HIGHLY toxic and carcinogenic. Also, hardness, iron, sulfur (rotten egg smell), sodium (heart patients), certain industrial pollutants, and nutrient levels.

test you should have performed:

Changes in Total Dissolved Solid values, or conductivity, and color (esp. tannins) and CAES Basic mineral and Anion analysis, as well as individual tests for specific contaminants

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Contaminant group VII:

Iron Related Bacteria: foul plumbing and toilet tanks, produce biofilm that coats the insides of toilets, coffee makers, water heaters, etc. Can cause premature failure of water- utilizing devices. Most important, any filtration devices will become contaminated and be inactivated (rendered ineffective) by growth of these bacteria. These can also be found in hot tubs and Jacuzzis.

test you should have performed:

Iron Related Bacteria Test. Proper detection and immediate treatment can prevent significant irreversible damage and avert impairment of purification devices

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Contaminant group VIII:

Sulfur Reducing Bacteria: foul plumbing and toilet tanks, produce biofilm that coats the insides of toilets, coffee makers, water heaters, etc. Can cause premature failure of water- utilizing devices. Most important, any filtration devices will become contaminated and be inactivated (rendered ineffective) by growth of these bacteria. Also, presence of these bacteria may not become apparent for some time after growth has begun. New wells may not produce rotten egg (sulfur) odor. Odor may indicate bacteria are already well established in system. These can also be found in hot tubs and Jacuzzis.

test you should have performed:

Sulfur Reducing Bacteria Test. Early detection and immediate treatment can prevent significant irreversible damage and avert impairment of purification devices.

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Additional:

Contaminant group IX:

Slime Forming Bacteria: foul plumbing and toilet tanks, produce biofilm that coats the insides of toilets, coffee makers, water heaters, etc. Can cause premature failure of water- utilizing devices. Most important, any filtration devices will become contaminated and be inactivated (rendered ineffective) by growth of these bacteria. Also, presence of these bacteria may not become apparent for some time after growth has begun. New wells may not produce slime (polysaccharides). Some members of this group can be found in hot tubs and Jacuzzis and may cause skin and ear infections.

test you should have performed:

Slime Producing Bacteria Test. Early detection and immediate treatment (sometimes only a single treatment) can prevent significant irreversible damage and avert impairment of purification devices.

Incredibly to us, many people meticulously wash their hands with antibiotic soaps, clean countertops with disinfectant solutions, clean bathrooms, clothing (bleach), and food preparation areas carefully to kill contaminating bacteria, but never consider that they are almost certainly drinking many of the same bacteria in their water on a daily basis. Sometimes in large enough numbers to make them sick. Let us test your water for bacteria and if you have them offer you a solution to remove them from your drinking and cooking water. We are often told that these bacteria are harmless. The simple truth is that it just is not so.

There is NO scientific evidence to support the idea that all the bacteria found in drinking water are harmless.  It is currently believed we have not even discovered and studied the vast majority of microorganisms found in water. New pathogens (disease- causing organisms like Legionella, HIV, Cryptosporidium, and others) are constantly being discovered or introduced in places we never knew they existed. And there is significant scientific evidence that demonstrates clearly that many species found in drinking water either make us sick outright, or are opportunistic -- that is, make us sick when we are weakened (by another illness or medications), or are elderly, or are infants etc.

There can be over 100,000 bacteria in an ounce of water, yet the water appear as clear as pure water. By the time water is cloudy from bacterial growth there are already billions to trillions of bacteria per fluid ounce present in that water. We don't tell people they must have their water tested. But we do want them to know the facts so they can make their own decisions, rather than have someone who is willing to take such a risks, or is acting in ignorance, make the decision for them. Ignorance may be bliss, but it does not protect us, or our loved ones, from harm.

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Last modified by Dr. Eberhard Essich dr_e@awsa.info: 03/22/17