Coliform is a type of harmless bacteria found naturally in the environment and in our bodies. According to the EPA, coliform is “not a health threat in itself; it is used to indicate whether other potentially harmful bacteria may be present.” The presence of coliform in water is a strong indicator of recent sewage or animal waste contamination, which may contain disease-causing organisms like E. coli.
The municipal water distribution system, a modern miracle, would not be possible without chlorination or similar disinfectants. Chlorine destroys disease-producing organisms and prevents their proliferation by disrupting microbial DNA and RNA. Another benefit is the improvement of water quality resulting from the reaction of chlorine with ammonia, iron, manganese and organic substances, allowing additional filtration and sedimentation processes to run smoothly.
The term “water hardness” originally referred to the ability of water to precipitate soap and form soap scum. Soap is precipitated, or brought to the surface, by water containing high levels of calcium and magnesium. The “harder” the water, the less soap will dissolve in it.
In current practice, total hardness is defined as the sum of the concentration of calcium and magnesium ions, expressed as calcium carbonate. Read More
While lead is useful in many industrial applications, in water lead is a toxic metal that can cause serious damage to the brain, organs and blood cells over time. Lead occurs naturally in ground waters throughout the world, but most contamination of lead in drinking water comes from lead leaching from service pipes, fixtures, valves, and other materials containing lead. Read More
Tannins are astringent, bitter-tasting plant polyphenols that bind and precipitate proteins. The word tannin refers to the source of tannins used in tanning animal hides into leather; however, the term is widely used to refer to brown color in water caused by decaying organic substances.Read More
There are many factors that may cause cloudy or turbid water. The most common causes of turbidity are organic matter, and/or colloidal solids that are too small and too fine to settle out properly. These suspended particles can cause problems with disinfection processes, and can also be an indicator of bacterial activity in water.Read More
Testing flouride, Treating Fluoride. Fluoride occurs naturally in ground waters throughout the world, and is found in trace amounts in many foods. In many countries, including the U.S., flouride is purposely introduced into drinking water supplies in concentrations of approximately 1.0 ppm (milligrams/liter) for the purpose of reducing dental cavities.Read More
Copper occurs most commonly in drinking water due to corrosion of copper pipes. Such corrosion can have many causes, but is usually a symptom of overly acidic water or high TDS, chlorine, or oxygen content.
According to the World Health Organization, “the sodium ion is ubiquitous in water.” Sodium is on the EPA’s Contaminate Candidate List, a list of contaminants that are known to occur in public water systems and may require regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act, but are not currently subject to “any proposed or promulgated national primary drinking regulation.”Read More
Testing and Treating Total Dissolved Solids. While salinity is generally used to describe and measure seawater or certain industrial wastes, the term “total dissolved solids” (TDS) is typically used to describe water high in various salt compounds and dissolved minerals. High TDS levels are common near coastal rivers and oceans due to seawater infiltration of groundwater sources. While one could technically have very high total dissolved solids and very low salinity, we’ll be talking here about high TDS with high levels of salts.Read More