What may naturally be in your water?
Hardness is caused by dissolved calcium and magnesium, and is expressed as the equivalent quantity of calcium carbonate. On heating, hard water has a tendency to form scale deposits and can form excessive scum with regular soaps. However, certain detergents are largely unaffected by hardness. Conversely, soft water may result in accelerated corrosion of water pipes. Hardness levels between 80 and 100 mg/L as calcium carbonate (CaCO3) are considered to provide an acceptable balance between corrosion and incrustation. Water supplies with a hardness greater than 200 mg/L are considered poor but tolerable
The aesthetic objective for iron, set by appearance effects, in drinking water is 0.3 mg/L (ppm). Excessive levels of iron in drinking water supplies may impart a brownish colour to laundered goods, plumbing fixtures and the water itself; it may produce a bitter, astringent taste in water and beverages; and the precipitation of iron can also promote the growth of iron bacteria in water mains and service pipes.
The colour related aesthetic objective for manganese in drinking water is 0.05 mg/L (ppm). Like iron, manganese is objectionable in water supplies because it stains laundry and fixtures black, and at excessive concentrations causes undesirable tastes in beverages.
Rural Water Testing for other parameters
Did you know that metals and minerals occur naturally in your water? Depending on your location, your water will reflect what surrounds it.
There are many reasons why you should test beyond bacteriological (coliforms and E.coli):
- have a baseline to monitor changes over time
- if you have, or considering a treatment device, this can ensure that the device will effectively treat the water
- monitor in the event of a spill
- have a deeper understanding of your well water
It is best to have these tests done prior to any occurrence, that way, the baseline was established and changes can be compared to the baseline.
Licensed private labs can provide packages pesticides, minerals, metals, solvents, and fuels.
The Ontario Ground Water Association provides confidential soil and water testing packages for well owners through licensed laboratories in Ontario. Test packages include pesticides, minerals, metals, solvents, and fuels.
Here are some direct links to the Candian Water Quality Association that may help you with your water:
- learn about your water quality at Frequently Asked Questions of the CWQA
- this Summary by the CWQA can help you understand what treatment your water may need
- here is an opportunity to Ask an Expert your question