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Would you drink this glass of water?|
Yes, you can: That's healthy water!
Water can be healthy and deadly.
Water can support life or kill life!
'Life is water dancing to the
tune of macro molecules ..'
Would you drink this glass of water?|
You shouldn't! It contains arsenic and mercury!
How do we know?
We do water testing!
Often water is safe for consumption,
but we think it is important to know
if water is healthy for humans!
We know that we find water contamination in all countries. Water quality can be impaired by natural contaminants or human activity.|
There is ground water, water in aquifers, in rivers, in lakes. Many people rely on their water supply from private wells.
Water can be contaminated on the surface or in depths up to 1000 ft.
Water can be contaminated in different ways:
Arsenic and other trace metals
Total Coliform bacteria
Humans can contaminate water:
Pesticides and herbicides
Components of gasoline
Waste from septic systems
Dioxins from waste barrel burning
Now you know, WHY we do water testing.|
We test, because we feel responsibility to safeguard the quality of the water your family consumes.
We test water for:
Dissolved Oxygen (DO)
These metals can be found in our water:
Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Beryllium, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Lead, Mercury, Selenium, Thallium, Uranium.
These Inorganics can be found in our water supply:
Cyanide, Fluoride, Nitrate, Nitrite, Perchlorate, changing the turbidity
These Herbicides + Pesticides were found in drinking water:
Silvex, Acetochlor, Alachlor, Atrazine, Cyanazine, Dalapon, Dinoseb, Diquat, Endothall, Glyphosate, Metolachlor, Pentachlorophenol, Picloram, Simazine
Trichlorophenol, Carbofuran, Chlordane, Endrin, Heptachlor, Heptachlor epoxide, Lindane, Methoxychlor, Oxamyl, Toxaphene
Let's start with Mercury:|
Mercury does kill people + Mercury does damage to your brain
Mercury poisoning is connected to Alzheimer and Parkinson and ADD Attention Deficit Disorder in children.
Mercury destroys white blood cells, weakens our immune system, can lower your eye sight.
How does the mercury come in the water?
Coal-fired power-plants and cement factories
produce huge amounts of mercury blowing it into the air.
The next rain washes mercury into our soil, creeks, streams and when your well is shallow mercury is found in your drinking water!
Almost all fish in US rivers contain high levels of mercury
Let's go on with Phosphate:|
Phosphates are chemical compounds containing phosphorus. Man-made sources of phosphate: human sewage, agricultural run-off from crops, sewage from animal feedlots, pulp and paper industry, vegetable and fruit processing, chemical and fertilizer manufacturing, detergents.
Phosphorous is needed by all plant life. It lets plants grow.
So, companies put a lot of phosphorous in plant fertilizers. Too often, phosphorous is applied to the land in too large doses; more than plants can use. Water easily dissolves phosphorous and washes it into lakes, rivers, streams, and at the end into Earth's oceans.
The outcome of this overdose phosphate is massive algae growth, an imbalance that ripples all the way through aquatic systems.
Algae growth in lakes with slimy, algae-covered rocks.
Plankton bloom is causing "dead zones", zones without oxygen, fish and other marine organisms cannot live there anymore!
What about humans?
Too much Phosphorous causes an acidification of our body. Calcium in our body is dissolved and leaves our body. The body has difficulties to absorb magnesium, Zinc and iron. Human body chemistry can get unbalanced.
We test well water + river water for a bacterium|
that often is found in our rivers and lakes.
You look at a graphic of
E. Coli bacterium = harmful to humans
Escherichia coli was named after Theodor Escherich, born in the Kingdom of Bavaria. He discovered this bacterium in 1885.
Most warm-blooded animals, mammals and birds, can contain the E.coli bacterium. Tests on fish and turtles are showed the presence of E. coli.
It can multiply every 20 minutes in the intestines; and with fecal matter E.coli gets in the water.
The only way to know if the river water has tolerable amounts of E.Coli is to test the water with a special kit.
We take samples, we put the samples into an incubator for 28 hours, than count how much e.Coli colonies are growing in our little dish.
What does e-Coli to humans?|
Some types of E. coli can cause serious food poisoning in humans. It can cause urinary infections, infections of the brain, the stomach, Morbus Crohn, Pancreatitis, Diarrhea, Diabetis mellitus.
E. coli can be a really nasty bacterium.
And our water testing list goes on:|
We want to know how much sulfide S2, an anion of sulfur, is in the water.
We shouldn't compare S2 with H2S
Hydrogen sulfide can kill life in rivers and lakes and in higher concentrations over a longer time all mammals.
This salt has a metallic-sulfur connection. If we add hydrogen H to it, we get H2S hydrogen sulfide, a gas. Because of the sulfur, the smell of rotten eggs is part of the game, but this gas is colorless, flammable and very poisonous. It can destroy hemoglobin, the red blood cells, and you can imagine, that's not very healthy for any kind of mammal. Additionally hydrogen sulfide can harm our nerve-system, can lower your brain capacity, fatigue, loss of appetite, headaches, irritability, and dizziness.
What we always want to know is how much Dissolved Oxygen, in short DO, is in the water.|
For all plants and animals the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water is essential. Oxygen levels below three to 5 parts per million = ppm, feeding, reproducing, even survival is very difficult for most aquatic life forms.
Water temperature changes the amount of oxygen water can hold. When water gets warm in summer, only half of the oxygen is available compared to water close to the freezing point.
Wind blowing over the water can lift up the oxygen levels. People use sometimes aerators to secure healthy dissolved oxygen levels. Barriers in a creek, where the water falls to the next level increase DO. These methods are called physical aeration or physical diffusion
So, you see, different ways can keep water oxygen levels healthy.
Photosynthesis in water plants releases oxygen, part rises up into Earth's atmosphere, part stays in the water.
Scientist believe that 'oxygen production' on Earth started with cyanobacteria in Earth oceans.
Concentration levels of oxygen change also with salinity. More salt = less oxygen. Higher ocean temperatures increase salinity because water evaporates...
Very often human activities are the reason for low dissolved oxygen levels.|
Chemicals can kill water plant life, algae blooms because of fertilizers, nitrogen, phosphorous, running into creeks and rivers, poisonous metals in form of salts: humans have to be very careful not to endanger a aquatic system. Several 'dead zones' = areas in Earth's oceans with very low oxygen levels = not supporting life anymore, already exist!
A nuisance, but also a health risk is iron = FE in the water.|
So we test water to know how much iron, in short FE, is in the water.
Our Earth's crust holds iron as a common metallic elements. When water seeps through soil, rock it can dissolve minerals containing iron.
How do you know you have a lot of iron in your water?
Down in our deep wells, oxygen amounts are low. The water we pump up is clear and colorless, because the iron is dissolved. But when iron-bearing water is exposed to air, iron is oxidized, water color is changing to a rusty tint, visible iron mud forms on the bottom of your pitcher. Oxygen in the air lets the iron in the water rust.
These sediments will stain everything they come in contact with, they even can plug water pipes. Iron can build up in pipelines, pressure tanks, water heaters and water softeners. As a result, these appliances don't work perfectly anymore, pressure gets lower, less water out of your faucet. Your electricity bill will get higher because pumping water through constricted pipes or heating water with heating rods coated with iron needs more energy - more kwh.
Iron affect the flavor and color of and water and the food you prepare with this iron loaded water. Reactions with tannins in coffee, tea and with alcoholic beverages are often seen. Reddish-brown staining of toilet bowls, laundry, porcelain, and dishes are reported.
You cannot remove these stains with soap or detergents.
We know that some people get health problems when too much iron is in the water. Doctors call that illness Hemochromatosis with symptoms as chronic fatigue, arthritis, heart disease, cirrhosis, diabetes, thyroid disease, and sterility.
Every water test includes the pH test.|
Pure water has a pH of 7
pH 7 is seen as neutral
Solutions with a pH less than 7 are called acidic, solutions with a pH greater than 7 are called basic or alkaline.
Get more information on pH on our web-page.
When salt is in the water scientists call it salinity.|
In oceanography the salinity is not expressed in percent, but in parts per thousand ‰ - Chemical analyses of solutions uses for salinity the term parts per million ppm.
Get more information on Salinity on the BSB web-page