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ANSWERS TO COMMON WATER QUALITY ISSUES:

  • Rotten egg smell in water is caused by hydrogen sulfide gas. Beside the foul odor, hydrogen sulfide is very corrosive to plumbing fixtures.  Hydrogen sulfide can be removed from water safely and effectively without using chemicals.
  • Chlorine is added to municipal water supplies to kill harmful bacteria and protect the public. However, chlorine and chlorine byproducts can be harmful to your health and give drinking water an unpleasant smell. Chlorine can be removed from drinking water in a couple different ways.
  • Red stains are typically associated with iron in the water. Excess iron can cause obnoxious staining and even affect the color of your hair.  Iron can be removed from water safely and effectively without using chemicals.
  • Tea colored water is typically associated with tannic acid. Tannic acid is caused by decaying plant matter underground and is often found in wells close to lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams.  Tannic acid can be removed from water safely and effectively with a specific resin.

COMMON DRINKING WATER CONTAMINANTS

  • Arsenic in water is a very dangerous water contaminant because it is colorless and odorless and magnifies in toxicity over time. A water test can determine if you have arsenic present in your drinking water.
  • Chlorine residual is mandatory in the USA for water that is provided to the public. All municipalities add chlorine to drinking water as a disinfectant to kill bacteria. Although chlorine serves a great purpose as a disinfectant, chlorine can interact with organic compounds to form dangerous disinfectant byproducts such as trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids. Excess chlorine can also change the color of your hair.
  • Hydrogen sulfide is an obnoxious gas that causes the water to smell like rotten eggs. It is not only a nuisance to the nose, but is extremely corrosive to plumbing fixtures.
  • Iron can cause damage to plumbing lines, fixtures and appliances by causing a stain build up that will reduce their efficiency. Iron will also stain clothes and hair. Iron also serves as a food source for different types of bacteria which cause a slimy buildup.
  • Calcium and magnesium can cause damage to plumbing lines, fixtures and appliances by causing a scale build up that will reduce their efficiency. Calcium and magnesium together make up the hardness of the water.
  • Tannic acid in water while it does not pose any health risk it can cause some unique problems. Besides giving the water a tea color, affected water can have a plant like, musty odor, and will have an unpleasant tangy aftertaste when consumed.  The presence of tannic acid in water can also indicate surface water intrusion.
  • pH of water is the measure of acidity or alkalinity of the water and has a range of 1 to 14 with 7 being neutral. pH should be in the range of 6.5 – 5 SU to be considered safe for consumption.  A pH lower than 6.5 is considered acidic and a pH of greater than 8.5 is considered alkaline. pH plays an important role in the corrosivity of water.
  • Lead in water is a very dangerous water contaminant because it is colorless and odorless and magnifies in toxicity over time. A water test of the “stagnant” water (water that has sat in the pipes for a minimum of 6 hours) can determine if there is lead in your drinking water.
  • Nitrates in water can cause methemoglobinemia (blue baby syndrome) and should not be consumed by pregnant ladies or infants. High nitrate levels provide an indication of agricultural runoff. Only recently has scientific evidence emerged to assess the health impacts of drinking water with high nitrate levels on adults.  Potential health effects such as increased heart rate, nausea, headaches and abdominal cramps have been linked to consuming drinking water high in nitrates.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) are a class of chemicals that contain carbon and will volatilize into the atmosphere. VOC’s have a strong odor and include petrochemicals from gasoline.  Health effects from drinking water or bathing in water contaminated with VOC’s may include impaired immune system function, liver damage and increased risk of cancer.  Sampling for VOC’s require specific vials and sampling technique.  Please contact the Laboratory to request your containers and instructions.
  • Per-and polyfluroalkyl substances (PFAS) are groups of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, Gen X, and many other chemicals. These chemical have been leaching into our drinking water since the 1940’s. Potential adverse health impacts associated with PFAS exposure include liver damage, thyroid disease, decreased fertility, high cholesterol, obesity, hormone suppression and cancer. Sampling for PFAS compounds requires a specific container and preservative. Please contact the Laboratory to request your containers and instructions.

HOW DO I COLLECT A WATER SAMPLE FOR MY HOME?

  • Samples for Total Coliform bacteria testing need to be collected in a sterile container. We would be happy to provide you with a sterile container, however if you only want to make one trip to the Laboratory you may use a brand new personal  bottled water container (about 16 ounces) that is currently sealed, and use that as your sterile container.  Open your kitchen sink faucet, cold water and run the water for a good three to five minutes to get some good fresh water into the house. Simply open the bottled water container and pour the water into something else and use the sterile water bottle to collect a sample of the kitchen faucet water.  It is best to collect and bring the sample directly to the Laboratory the same day.  The Laboratory accepts these samples Monday through Thursday during regular business hours.
  • Samples for lead testing need to be collected in a quart sized container. We would be happy to provide you with a quart size container or you may use a clean quart sized container of your own.  It is recommended that the sample be collected from the kitchen sink faucet; cold water side after the water has been stagnant in the pipes for a minimum of 6 hours.  So typically, first thing in the morning, before water is used at the kitchen sink faucet, simply collect the first quart of water from the faucet and deliver to the Laboratory. 
  • Samples for nitrate testing require a pint sized container of water. Sample kits are available at the Laboratory or you may use your own clean pint sized container. This sample should be collected prior to any filtration systems after running the water for three to five minutes prior to collection. It is best to collect and then bring the fresh sample directly to the Laboratory the same day. 
  • Samples for the Filter Survey require at least a pint sized container of water. Sample kits are available at the Laboratory or you may use your own clean pint sized container. This sample should be collected prior to any filtration system (unless the goal is to check the performance of a filter system) after running the water for three to five minutes prior to collection. It is best to collect and then bring the fresh sample directly to the Laboratory the same day. 
  • Samples for the Well Survey require two containers: a quart sized container and a sterile container. Sample kits are available at the Laboratory or you may use your own quart sized container and a sealed personal bottled water container may be used as a sterile container once the seal is broken and the bottled water poured into something else.  This sample should be collected prior to any filtration system (unless the goal is to check the performance of a filter system) after running the water for three to five minutes prior to collection. It is best to collect and then bring the fresh sample directly to the Laboratory the same day. The Laboratory accepts these samples Monday through Thursday during regular business hours.  
  • Samples for the Health Survey require four containers: a quart sized container for the lead analysis, a quart sized container for the chemical analyses, a pint sized container for the nitrate analysis and a sterile container for the bacteria analysis. Sample kits and sampling instructions are available at the Laboratory or you may use your own quart and pint sized containers and a sealed personal bottled water container may be used as a sterile container once the seal is broken and the bottled water poured into something else.  The health survey needs to be collected in the following order:  after a minimum of 6 hours stagnation time, for example first thing in the morning before the kitchen faucet has been used, collect the first draw of water into a quart container for the lead analysis.  Then let the water run for three to five minutes to get some good fresh water into the house and fill up the next quart container completely full, the pint sized container, then simply open the bottled water container and pour the water into something else and use the sterile water bottle to collect a sample of the kitchen faucet water. It is best to collect and then bring the fresh sample directly to the Laboratory the same day. The Laboratory accepts these samples Monday through Thursday during regular business hours.

I’M BUYING A NEW HOUSE AND THE MORTGAGE COMPANY REQUIRES A WATER TEST, WHAT DO I NEED?

  • The type of water test is determined by the type of loan. Typically, FHA, VA, and USDA loans require lead, nitrate, nitrite, and total coliform bacteria testing with an independent party collection. The Laboratory has sample kits and instructions available for pick up and the Laboratory offers well inspections and third party water sample collections upon request.
  • Conventional loans for properties with water wells often require a total coliform bacteria test. Bacteria test kits are available for pick up and the Laboratory offers well inspections and third party water sample collections upon request.

I’M INTERESTED IN A FILTER SYSTEM, WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?

  • The first step in determining what type of filtration system to get is to have the water tested. All testing provided by Ackuritlabs, Inc. is performed in our State Certified Laboratory.  These test results are then used as a guide to recommend the best water treatment solution.  Test kits are available at the Laboratory or you may use a clean quart sized container filled to the top with your water and delivered as fresh as possible to the Laboratory. Laboratory personnel can also meet you on site to perform a site check and collect a water sample.

I’VE BEEN HAVING PERSITENT STOMACH PROBLEMS, WHAT DO I NEED TO TEST FOR?

  • Usually, upset stomach issues can be traced to bacterial contamination of the well water. A Total Coliform Bacteria test is the best place to start.  This test is used as an indicator of contamination and includes pathogenic bacteria such as coli.
  • Surface water protozoa Giardia and Cryptosporidium can cause stomach upset issues. If your well has been under the direct influence of surface water such as being submerged under water after a storm, or is a very shallow well with an above ground pump it would be a good idea to test of these two surface water protozoa.
  • In some cases, other types of contamination such as excess chlorine, manganese, and other chemical contaminants can cause serious stomach and respiratory issues. It is best to talk to an expert at the Laboratory to determine the best testing course if you suspect this type of contamination.

MY WATER CAUSES WHITISH GRAY LIMESCALE BUILD UP ON SHOWER DOORS, CLOGS MY SHOWERHEADS, OR PUTS WHITE SPOTS ON MY DISHES

  • Hard water is made up of calcium and magnesium that cause scale build up. Appliances running on hard water begin to loose efficiency and require repair or replacement more often. Limescale is hard to clean, often requiring harsh chemical and abrasives to remove it. Hard water limescale build up can be treated in three different ways: with an Aqua Systems Gen II water softener, or with a sacrificial resin system that is salt free, or with the Vulcan Electronic Descaler.

MY WATER LOOKS LIKE TEA

  • Tea colored water is typically associated with tannic acid. Tannic acid is caused by decaying plant matter underground and is often found in wells close to lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams.  Tannic acid can be removed from water safely and effectively with a specific resin.

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