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Why You Should Have Your Water Tested for Minerals and Metals

 What is in the soil will eventually end up in the water. What follows is United States Geological Survey Data from research they did to determine what is in the soil in White and Habersham Counties. Like sugar and salt these chemicals will dissolve in water. Now that we know what they are, we should be testing for at least this group of contaminants. AWSA can help you find out what is in your well water, and then tell you exactly how to purify it properly.

Water Fact #1:

“These contaminants are odorless, tasteless, colorless, and are essentially undetectable by human senses”

 Water Fact #2:

“If it is in the soil, it will eventually wind up in the water”

Look at these USGS Maps for White County, Georgia (data in tables below):

    

  

Following are two tables showing how much of each of the listed elements is in the soil surrounding our wells in Habersham and White Counties, Georgia. These chemicals enter well water AND municipal water supplies that rely upon wells, but you cannot know if they are present without testing.

Of course, the target values of these chemicals in our drinking water is ZERO for Lead, Mercury, and Arsenic. And for most of the others it is far below the amount found in the soil.

Check Link to Confirm Data: http://tin.er.usgs.gov/geochem/doc/averages/pb/southeastern.html 

 

Average concentrations of elements in White County, Georgia

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Calculated from cells in the geochemical grid plotting in this area.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Element

Symbol

Mean

Std. dev.

Minimum

Maximum

Aluminum

Al (wt%)

6.513

1.521

4.153

11.781

Arsenic

As (ppm)

1.734

0.449

1.003

2.77

Calcium

Ca (wt%)

0.361

0.071

0.206

0.608

Copper

Cu (ppm)

21.917

7.178

12.379

47.868

Iron

Fe (wt%)

3.428

0.486

2.337

4.934

Mercury

Hg (ppm)

0.145

0.096

0.041

0.398

Magnesium

Mg (wt%)

0.447

0.085

0.26

0.617

Manganese

Mn (ppm)

488.713

53.554

362.664

679.455

Sodium

Na (wt%)

0.386

0.084

0.208

0.613

Phosphorus

P (wt%)

0.05

0.01

0.028

0.069

Lead

Pb (ppm)

29.481

5.331

18.673

41.612

Selenium

Se (ppm)

0.285

0.104

0.105

0.587

Titanium

Ti (wt%)

0.743

0.106

0.473

0.989

Zinc

Zn (ppm)

73.164

10.967

52.818

99.661

 Standard home water filters DO NOT remove these chemicals. However, proper water treatment can, and at reasonable costs!!  How much of each of these do you want in your drinking water? How much of each of these are you already drinking every day? If you don't know, you should test for them at least once.  It's just good common sense!

Average concentrations of elements in Habersham County, Georgia

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Calculated from cells in the geochemical grid plotting in this area.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Element

Symbol

Mean

Std. dev.

Minimum

Maximum

Aluminum

Al (wt%)

4.607

1.147

2.804

8.848

Arsenic

As (ppm)

1.846

0.558

0.758

2.832

Calcium

Ca (wt%)

0.332

0.183

0.082

1.277

Copper

Cu (ppm)

12.031

4.633

3.501

31.469

Iron

Fe (wt%)

3.201

0.43

1.818

4.03

Mercury

Hg (ppm)

0.383

0.097

0.122

0.536

Magnesium

Mg (wt%)

0.246

0.072

0.116

0.483

Manganese

Mn (ppm)

739.325

144.54

468.265

988.591

Sodium

Na (wt%)

0.261

0.104

0.083

0.538

Phosphorus

P (wt%)

0.04

0.016

0.011

0.078

Lead

Pb (ppm)

28.29

6.632

13.955

46.018

Selenium

Se (ppm)

0.163

0.067

0.1

0.409

Titanium

Ti (wt%)

0.831

0.161

0.44

1.175

Zinc

Zn (ppm)

48.92

10.129

31.509

80.424

 

What the EPA (our government experts) says:

“Private, individual wells are the responsibility of the homeowner. To help protect your well, here are some steps you can take:

Have your water tested periodically. It is recommended that water be tested every year for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. If you suspect other contaminants, test for those…… “

 

The typical “Basic” Water test includes:

pH, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Al, B, Cu, Zn, Na, Si, Cd, Ni, Cr, Mo, Hardness;

 What are important, but not included are:

Anions: especially phosphate, sulfate and nitrate……..agricultural or domestic waste. Nitrate is common and toxic and should be tested at least annually

Anion Analysis by ICP Includes High Sensitivity Tests for:

Chloride, Fluoride, Phosphate, Sulfate, Nitrate (Consumer should expect to pay ~$20-80)

Turbidity……… ..bacteria, sediment, inactivates disinfectants like chlorine, clogs or inactivates filters (Consumer can expect to pay $100 - $150 for this test)

Total Dissolved Solids………excellent annual “screen” for changes in water quality (Consumer can expect to pay $25 -$45 for this test alone)

Saturation Index (SI)………..measure of how corrosive water is to fixtures, plumbing, pump, water heater, metal parts etc.

Chlorine – Free (residual) and Total, Fluoride;……should always be included when testing for bacteria; these are bactericidal and can produce false negative coliforms

A proper well / drinking water test regimen would include: A and B

A: Initially and then every 3 to 5 years

Basic Mineral Analysis with Acid Digest Includes High-Sensitivity Tests for: (our fee $60)

Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Iron, Aluminum, Boron, Copper, Zinc, Sodium, Cadmium, Nitrogen, Chromium, Molybdenum, (P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Al, B, Cu, Zn, Na, Cd, N, Cr, Mo) (Consumer should expect to pay ~$30-80)

Anion Analysis by ICP Includes High Sensitivity Tests for: (our fee $50)

Chloride, Fluoride, Phosphate, Sulfate, Nitrate (Consumer should expect to pay ~$20-80)

 Also, where soil analysis indicates, you should test  at Least Once Where Appropriate, for:

•Arsenic ($50 - $75)

•Lead ($50 - $70)

•Mercury ($45 - $100)

And in North Georgia you should also test for the following if it is indicated by odor, discoloration, etc:

Iron Bacteria, Sulfur Bacteria, or Slime Forming Bacteria (Consumer should expect to pay ~$60 per test)

B: Is the recommended ANNUAL testing (our fee $98.00)

AWSA RAPID SCREEN

 1.includes Coliforms and E. coli tests (bacterial growth)

2.Visual Examination by a professional microbiologist*

3.Microscopic Examination by a professional microbiologist *

4.Temperature*,

5.Conductivity*,

6.Nitrate,

7.pH*,

8.Total Dissolved Solids*,

9.Color*

10.Turbidity*

11.Total Hardness

12.Total Alkalinity

13. Iron

14.Free Chlorine*

15.Total Chlorine*

*Note: tests marked by asterisk are either not available at all or are not available on site by any County/Government Agency

 

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