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National Drinking Water Regulations

 

For more information on Water & Environmental Testing Services contact us at one of our laboratories below:

AgSource Laboratories - Ellsworth, IA515-836-4444ellsworth@agsource.com
AgSource Laboratories - Marshfield, WI715-898-1402marshfield@agsource.com
AgSource Laboratories - Menomonie, WI715-235-1128menomonie@agsource.com
AgSource Laboratories - Umatilla, OR541-922-4894umatilla@agsource.com

Contaminants (Units)

PrimaryStandardsIdeal ConditionsMajor Sources In Drinking WaterPotential Health Effects From Ingestion of Water
 MCLGMCL   
Alkalinity (ppm)NANA150-200Dissolved limestone or mineralsNo health effects, but high alkalinity can contribute to scale buildup in plumbing
Arsenic (ppb)0500Erosion of natural deposits; runoff from glass & electronics production, applications of herbicides and pesticides and some wood preservativesSkin damage; circulatory systems problems; increased risk of cancer
Bacteria, Coliform000Naturally present in the environmentUsed as an indicator that other potentially harmful bacteria may be present
Bacteria, Fecal and E.Coli000Human and animal fecal wasteUsed as an indicator that other potentially harmful bacteria may be present
Calcium (ppm)NANA<50Limestone deposits, gypsum and gypsiferous shaleNo health effects, but calcium in water can contribute to scale buildup in plumbing

Chloride (ppm)

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NANA<10Septic systems, road salt, fertilizers, animal waste, landfills or other wasteNo health effects, but high chloride in water can speed up corrosion in plumbing
ConductivityNANaRoughly 2X the hardness in unsoftened waterNatural and human-made dissolved substances in waterNo health effects, but changing conductivity over time may indicate changing water quality
Copper (ppm)1.31.3<0.5Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits"Short term exposure - Gastrointestinal distress. Long term exposure - Liver or kidney damage.People with Wilson's Disease should consult their personal doctor if the amount of copper in their water exceeds the action level "
Fluoride (ppm)442.0 (Dental Health)Water additive that promotes strong teeth; erosion of natural deposits; discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factoriesBone disease (pain and tenderness of bones); Children may get mottled teeth
Hardness (ppm)NANA150Dissolved limestone or mineralsNo health effects, but hardness in water can contribute to scale bulid up in plumbing
Iron (ppm)
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NANA<0.3Natural deposits and corrosion of iron pipesWhile iron does not cause major health problems, it does contribute to cosmetic and aesthetic effects in drinking water
Lead (ppb)0150Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural depositsInfants and children: Delays in physical or mental development; children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. Adults: Kidney problems; high blood pressure
Magnesium (ppm)NANA<30Dissolved limestone or mineralsNo health effects, but magnesium in water can contribute to scale build up in plumbing
Manganese (ppm)NANA<0.05Occurs in domestic wastewater; industrial effluents and receiving streamsWhile Manganese does not cause major health problems, it does contribute to cosmetic and aesthetic effects in drinking water
Nitrate (measured as Nitrogen) (ppm)1010<1Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural depositsInfants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome.
Nitrite (measured as nitrogen) (ppm)
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11<1Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural depositsInfants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrite in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome.
pHNANA7.5 - 8.3Low values are often caused by lack of carbonate minerals from limestone and minerals in the aquifer. Some contaminant sources such as landfills may lower pHLow pH may lead to corrosion of plumbing and leaching of metals (copper, lead, iron, etc) in water supply
Potassium (ppm)NANA<20Septic systems, road salt, fertilizers, animal waste, landfills or other waste; erosion from other depositsPeople afflicted with some diseases require low potassium concentrations.
Sodium (ppm)NANA<30Specific systems, road salt, fertilizers, animal waste, landfills or other waste; erosion from natural depositsPeople afflicted with some diseases require low sodium concentrations.
Sulfates (ppm)NANA<75Erosion of natural deposits, mine drainage wasteWhile sulfates do not cause major health problems, it does contribute to cosmetic and aesthetic effects in drinking water
Total Dissolved Solids (ppm)
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NANA Soil runoffHigh turbidity levels are often associated with higher levels of disease causing viruses, parasites and some bacteria
Turbidity (NTU)NA<5<5Soil runoffHigh turbidity levels are often associated with higher levels of disease causing viruses, parasites and some bacteria
ZincNANA<5Zinc most commonly enters water from deterioration of galvanized iron and dezincification of brass; industrial waste pollutionWhile zinc does not cause major health problems, it does contribute to cosmetic and aesthetic effects in drinking water

MCLG = Maximum Contaminant Level Goal = The maximum level of a contaminant in drinking water at which no known or anticipated adverse effect of people would occur, allowing for an adequate margin of safety. MCLGs are non-enforceable public health goals.

MCL = Maximum Contaminant Level = The maximum permissible level of a contaminant in water delivered to a user of a public water system. MCLs are enforceable standards. The margins of safety in MCLGs ensure that exceeding the MCL slightly does not pose significant public health risks.

For more information on Water & Environmental Testing Services contact us at one of our laboratories below:  

Laboratory Locations:

AgSource Laboratories - Ellsworth, IA 515-836-4444ellsworth@agsource.com 
AgSource Laboratories - Marshfield, WI 715-898-1402marshfield@agsource.com
AgSource Laboratories - Menomonie, WI 715-235-1128  menomonie@agsource.com 
AgSource Laboratories - Umatilla, OR541-922-4894 umatilla@agsource.com
   
 
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