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The following analytes are considered to be important as a measure of potability. Because of the high cost of testing for everything that may be dissolved in your water, these are frequently used as indicators, and high levels may prompt more in-depth testing or treatment. The maximum levels listed are the contaminant levels set by the EPA and local health authorities.


1). Coliform Bacteria – We are able to detect one organism or “colony forming unit” as they are called, in a 100-milliliter sample. These bacteria are an indicator of possible fecal contamination, which comes from septic systems or contaminated runoff, and is our major concern.

2). Nitrate/Nitrite – Emanates from decayed organic matter. High nitrate/nitrite levels are frequently associated with surface water contamination in private wells. Levels over 10 mg/L for nitrate and 1 mg/L for nitrite are considered unsafe.

3). Chloride – A measure of the salt content of your water. Wells near the coast, or deep wells inland, may be contaminated with high levels of chloride. 250 mg/L of chloride is the upper limit set by EPA. Sodium Chloride imparts a salty taste to the water and is corrosive at high levels.

4). Lead – Before 1987, lead was used in solder to construct plumbing systems. If your water is corrosive, some lead may leach into the water supply. The upper limit is 0.015 mg/L (15 ppb).

5). TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) - A measure of all of the minerals in your water…The EPA allows 500 PPM as a maximum level in public water supplies.


The following groups of nuisance contaminants are not considered health hazards, however they may ruin clothing, fixtures and water related appliances. They also impart an objectionable taste and odor to the water. A properly designed and sized water treatment system will provide clean, clear, good tasting water as well as protect your investments.


1). Iron – Typically dissolved in the water until exposed to air, when it oxidizes and stains fixtures and clothing. Iron is common in private wells and will stain at levels above 0.3 mg/L.

Iron also affects taste and odor in water. Iron Removal

2). Sulfur – (Hydrogen Sulfide) Associated with the activity of subterranean bacteria. Rotten egg odor is offensive and will react with metal, corroding plumbing and fixtures. Sulfur Removal

3). Hardness – A measure of the calcium carbonate dissolved in the water. In Florida this comes from the water being trapped in the limestone aquifer, where some of the rock dissolves into the water. Hardness causes staining of shower walls and floors, decreases the effectiveness of soap, damages water heaters, and can restrict water flow in plumbing systems. Water Softeners

5). Iron and Sulfur Bacteria (Chemoautotrophs) – These bacteria are not associated with any health concerns, but they do cause odors and staining problems. Most wells have some chemoautotroph contamination, which is evidenced by a brown or purplish slime in toilet tanks and inside pipes.


For questions about this page, our products or services, please email or give us a call.
The Water Shed Laboratories, Inc. 304 S. Spring Garden Ave.  DeLand, Florida 32720
(386) 736-3397 • 1-800-636-9588 • fax: (386) 734-2554

Serving Volusia, Lake, Brevard, Orange, Seminole and Flagler Counties including Sanford, Orlando, DeLand, Daytona Beach, Altamonte Springs, Deltona, Orange City, DeBary, Ormond Beach, New Smyrna Beach and Port Orange

Well Testing | Well Water Treatment | Iron Removal | Sulfur Removal | Water Softeners
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