Well Water or Municipal Water - It might not be as safe as you think

What could be in my water?

  • pH – Recommended range 6.5 – 8.5. A pH of 7.0 is considered neutral. Below 7.0 the water is considered acidic, and above 7.0 the water is considered alkaline or basic. A pH of less than 6.5 is corrosive, its effects may transpire and the leaching of toxic metals may occur. pH greater than 8.5 may cause mineral incrustations and bitter tasting water.
  • Hardness – The NH Dept. Of Environmental Services recommends treatment at 125 -150mg/L. Hardness is the result of segregation of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and silica. Excessive hardness can cause scale formation in heating systems and combined with soap may leave insoluble particles.
  • Chloride – Recommended range is less than 250 mg/L. Chloride can cause corrosion above 250 mg/L and above 400 mg/L chloride causes an objectionable salty taste.
  • Nitrate – The maximum containment level is 10mg/L. Potential sources of nitrate fertilizer runoff are soil, organic matter, leaching from landfills, and municipal and industrial wastewater. Excessive concentration can indicate septic tank pollution. Under certain conditions nitrates can be chemically reduced in the body to form Nitrite-N.
  • Nitrite – The maximum containment level is 1.0 mg/L. Water with high nitrite levels must not be used for infants under 3 months of age due to the potential risk of methemoglobinemia (blue-baby syndrome). Water with high concentration usually are heavily polluted and bacteriological unacceptable.
  • Sodium – The recommended maximum level is 250 mg/L. For people on low sodium diets the recommended maximum level is 20 mg/L.
  • Iron – The recommended maximum is less than 0.3 mg/L Iron can cause discoloration in laundered goods and can cause a bitter or astringent taste in the water.
  • Manganese – The recommended level is less than 0.05 mg/L. Manganese can cause discoloration of laundered goods and impair taste in drinking water and beverages. At high concentration it may cause brown spots and leave unaesthetic black precipitates.
  • Copper – The recommended maximum level is 1.3 mg/L. Copper can cause adverse taste effects or stain porcelain. Extremely high concentration may cause gastrointestinal tract irritation

Water Hazards

  • Radon – Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and naturally occurring radioactive gas produced from the decay of the element radium. Radium occurs naturally in rocky soil worldwide. Radon gas can dissolve in ground-water and later be released in the air during such normal household activities as showering , dish washing and doing laundry. When radon accumulates in indoor air it can pose an increased health risk, primarily, lung cancer. The U. S. EPA has set an advisory “action level” of 4 p Ci/L for radon gas in indoor air & 10 p Ci/L for radon in water. READ MORE
  • Arsenic – Arsenic is a semi-metal element in the periodic table. It is odorless and tasteless. It enters drinking water supplies from natural deposits in the earth or from agricultural and industrial practices. EPA has set the arsenic standard for drinking water at .010 parts per million (10 parts per billion) to protect consumers served by public water systems from the effects of long-term, chronic exposure to arsenic. READ MORE
  • Fluoride – Fluoride occurs naturally in New Hampshire’s bedrock. As such, it is frequently present in water samples taken from bedrock (artesian, drilled) wells. Fluoride is seen at high concentrations in bedrock wells in the Mt. Washington-Saco River Valley area, Wolfeboro through Franconia Notch and immediately west of Concord. In the remainder of New Hampshire, high fluoride concentrations occur more irregularly. Fluoride has no taste, color or odor and thus the only way to determine its concentration is by laboratory analysis. In dug wells that are excavated into sand and gravel, the fluoride level is generally low (<0.2 mg/L) and would not be expected to exceed 2 mg/L. READ MORE
  • Lead – The recommended maximum level is 0.015 mg/L. Lead may be leached from household plumbing due to low PH and low alkalinity. Major toxic effects include anemia, neurological dysfunctional damage and renal impairment.
  • PFOA – “[PFOA and PFOS] or Forever Chemicals are “extremely” persistent in the environment and resistant to typical environmental degradation processes. They are widely distributed across the higher trophic levels and are found in soil, air and groundwater at sites across the United States. The toxicity, mobility and bioaccumulation potential of PFOS and PFOA pose potential adverse effects for the environment and human health” READ MORE

What’s In My Water?