Routine Water Quality Monitoring
WW&LC routinely collects and tests water samples for a variety of biological and chemical contaminants that may be present in drinking water. Samples are collected at the utility and representative sample locations within the distribution system. The location and frequency of sampling varies by contaminant. Most, but not all, of the tests performed comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR). These agencies have regulatory authority over the water quality monitoring performed by the utility. The amount of testing performed by WW&LC as part of its water quality monitoring exceeds the regulatory requirements established by the EPA and WDNR. For more information on the WDNR click the link below.
We can test for the following:
Bacteria – Coliform and E Coli, if either is found in drinking water it could be potentially dangerous.
Nitrates – Naturally occurring compounds found in all organic material. Low levels of nitrates is safe. High levels above 10 mg are potentially dangerous especially to infants and pregnant women.
Iron – Often found in private water wells. Generally iron can’t hurt you however, it can be a nuisance. Levels above 0.3 mg can cause stains on clothing and plumbing fixtures.
PH Balance – A measure of acidity or alkalinity in a solution. 7 is neutral, the best range for pH in drinking water is 6.5 to 7.5.
Hardness – Water that is described as hard is high in dissolved minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium. Hard water is not a health risk, but a nuisance due to poor soap performance. The best range is 75-100 mg.
Alkalinity – A measure of the capacity of the water to neutralize acids. It is not a major factor of water quality or detrimental to health. The best range is from 30-100 mg.
Chlorine – Chlorine is added to drinking water systems to assure that microbial organisms such as bacteria and viruses can’t survive in the water. Some customers may notice an increase in smell or taste of chlorine in the water when levels are initially raised. The average free residual chlorine concentration in the system is maintained at .75 parts per million (ppm) the chlorine levels are not a health concern.
Fluoride – Fluoride is added to our water to improve dental health and reduce tooth decay. The average level is .7 ppm. WW&LC followed the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and the American Water Works Association. The Water Utility Board recently reaffirmed this policy.
If you are interested in any of the above tests, please stop in our office during normal business hours to pick up a testing kit. Keep in mind that if you are testing for more that bacteria and nitrates, you will need two full bottles of water.
Monitoring – Daily samples are taken at the filter plant for testing. Other regular sampling program tests are taken weekly throughout the distribution system. Chlorine and fluoride levels are adjusted as necessary to ensure safe water is delivered to the tap.