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Understanding your water analysis report is crucial if you are to ensure the ongoing health and safety of your team, your customers, your partners, and the general public. Take a look at our guide and derive maximum insight from your report.
The Key Details
- Where the water comes from
If you are undergoing an analysis on an external water source, you have a right to know where your water is coming from. The report will provide you with this information, informing you whether your water comes from an aquifer, lake, river, reservoir, or another source.
- A complete list of contaminants
Your report will give you a rundown of all the different contaminants that have been tested for, as well as the level at which they are found in your water. This is perhaps the most important part of your report and the part that will include the most technical jargon. We will explore this in more detail below.
- Health effects of contaminants
You may have heard of many of the different contaminants. But the idea of the water analysis report is to make sure you are fully informed about the properties and health impact of each of the contaminants that may be found in your water. The report will give you a rundown of the possible health effects, helping you to make sure that your team, your customers, and the general public stay safe and protected.
- Contaminant levels
Contaminant levels are gauged across different national standards. These standards may be legally governed maximums that cannot be exceeded, or they may simply be guidelines of recommended levels. This will depend upon the type of contaminant being tested for.
Terms to Understand
The chemical or substance that is being tested for. This will be listed in the first column on the left of the report.
- MCLG and MRDLG
Maximum Contaminant Level Goal and Maximum Disinfection Level Goal. This is the base level you need to achieve. You will need to compare these levels to the levels of each contaminant in your own water.
Maximum Contaminant Level. In some cases, you may be aiming for a contaminant level that is lower than the legally mandated maximum. In this case, you may miss your goal, but you may still be legally compliant provided that your contaminant level is below the MCL.
Treatment Technique. In some cases, contaminants may need to be added to the water for disinfection purposes. The TT level is legally mandated maximum level for contaminants in this class.
Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level. If certain contaminants have been added to the water as part of the disinfection process, this is the maximum level of leftover chemical residue that should remain following treatment.
- Your Water
This refers to the highest level of a contaminant that was discovered in your water during the analysis. You can compare this value to any of the values mentioned above to discover whether or not you are hitting your targets, and whether or not your water is legally compliant.
The range of levels of this particular contaminant that was detected in your water. This will be displayed as a low value and a high value. It is designed to give you a bit more insight into what your water analysis discovered about your water.
A quick and easy reference point that tells you whether or not your water is compliant with legal guidelines and parameters. This will be represented with a simple “No” or “Yes” depending on whether a violation has been discovered. Obviously, you are seeking to achieve “No” violation across.
- Typical Sources
In this section, you will find qualitative information relating to the usual sources of this contamination. This section is not really part of your report as the information simply relates to the chemical or contaminant in question, and it will be the same on all reports that are testing for that particular chemical. This section provides a bit of insight into where the contamination might have come from – for example, chloramine is an additive designed to keep microbe levels low, while antimony may come from fire retardant chemicals or solder.
FAQs About Your Water Analysis Report
- How can I get more information about my water analysis report?
The report is designed to give you a brief and easy-to-understand reference point of the health and quality of your water. There is more information available to you if you want it. Simply call the EPA’s Safe Water Hotline at 1800 426 4791 and find out more about the analysis report.
- I am experiencing a health reaction to my water, but my report says the water is fine. What should I do?
Public health is always the main priority for water analysis. With this in mind, even if your report says that your water is fine, you are encouraged to seek medical assistance if you are experiencing any reaction or if any other person reports a reaction to the water. It could be that your analysis was incorrect and there is a higher level of a certain contaminant than was disclosed on the report. Or, you may be having an allergic reaction to an otherwise safe level of a contaminant. Contact a doctor or healthcare institutions without delay.
- When do I receive a water analysis report?
This depends on the kind of report you are dealing with. Community water systems are legally obliged to provide a Consumer Confidence Report, or CCR, to their customers before July 1 each year. However, you may also request or carry out additional water quality assessment at any time at your commercial or residential property. It is up to you to arrange this.
Understand Your Water Analysis Report and Stay Informed
A water analysis report provides valuable insight, but only if you know how to recognize this insight. Keep this guide as a handy reference point and make sure you get the full benefit from your water report.