Interpreting Your Water Test Report

  • Parrott, Kathleen;
  • Ross, Blake

Table 1: General Water Quality Indicators

Indicator Acceptable Limit Indication
< 1 coliform/100mL Possible bacterial or viral contamination (absent) from human sewage or animal waste
pH Value 6.5 to 8.5 An important overall measure of water quality, pH can alter corrosivity and solubility of contaminants. Low pH will cause pitting of pipes and fixtures and/or metallic taste. This may indicate that metals are being dissolved. At a high pH, the water will have a slippery feel or soda taste.
Total Dissolved
Solids (TDS)
500 mg/L Dissolved minerals, like iron or manganese. High TDS also may indicate hardness (scaly deposits) and cause staining, or a salty, bitter taste.

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Publication #: 356-489

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