Parameter Type: Drinking Water Testing for Physical Properties
Parameter Name: Conductivity
What it is and Where it Comes From:
Conductivity is a measure of water’s capability to pass an electrical current. This ability is directly related to the concentration of ions in the water. These conductive ions come from dissolved salts and other inorganic materials such as alkalis, chlorides, sulfides, and carbonate compounds. These Ions conduct electrical current, conductivity increases as salinity increases. Organic compounds like oil do not conduct electrical current very well and therefore have a low conductivity when in water. Conductivity is also affected by temperature: the warmer the water, the higher the conductivity. Compounds that dissolve into ions are also known as electrolytes. The more ions that are present, the higher the conductivity of water. Likewise, the fewer ions that are in the water, the less conductive it is. Distilled or deionized water can act as an insulator due to its very low (if not negligible) conductivity value. Sea water, on the other hand, has a very high conductivity. Ions conduct electricity due to their positive and negative charges. When electrolytes dissolve in water, they split into positively charged (cation) and negatively charged (anion) particles. As the dissolved substances split in water, the concentrations of each positive and negative charge remain equal. This means that even though the conductivity of water increases with added ions, it remains electrically neutral. Pure water is not a good conductor. The number of dissolved ions in water increases its ability to conduct. If water is conductive, that means there are ions present such as but not limited to sodium, chloride, or fluoride. Drinking water testing gives you several benefits like peace of mind, identifying contaminants in your water, and insight into health concerns. Safe Home offers Laboratory drinking water testing kits for conductivity, allowing you to collect your water sample and ship it directly to our EPA-Certified Laboratory. This platform of drinking water testing for conductivity will give you an accurate level based on the lowest level of a parameter our instruments can detect (Method Detection Level). Safe Home drinking water testing for physical properties can be used for city and well water supplies. Drinking water testing should be done any time you notice a significant change in your water quality.
An increased number of Total Dissolved Solids can cause damage in the environment, limit drinking water for livestock, and cause corrosion. Drinking water testing is a great way to monitor contaminates in your water system for your family and pets.
Solutions to Contaminant Levels:
After drinking water testing, how can conductivity be reduced? Water used in industries and households is often treated for removal of biological impurities, chemicals, undesired mineral content, abnormal pH and high conductivity. Conductivity is the result of the presence of mineral salts of elements like sodium, calcium, and magnesium. These salts when dissolved in water, produce free ions that can pass electrical current in water. High conductivity is related to high TDS (total dissolved solids) concentration in water, amount of dissolved mineral salts in water. Conductivity meters that measure conductivity also aim to measure the TDS of the sample for producing the result. For reducing the TDS of water on a domestic or an industrial level, you must seek help from an expert. Check the conductivity of the untreated water with a conductivity meter. The value should lie in the range of 0.005 – 0.05 S/m for drinking water. Procure a deionization plant or reverse osmosis plant of suitable capacity. Who do I need to contact to find out more information about water quality in my area? Every community water supplier must provide an annual report to its customers, known as a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). The report provides information on your local drinking water quality, including the water’s source, contaminants found in the water, and how consumers can get involved in protecting drinking water. How often does the local public water system preform drinking water testing? Frequency of drinking water testing depends on the number of people served, the type of water source, and types of contaminants. Certain contaminants are tested more frequently than others, as established by the Safe Drinking Water Act. You can find out about levels of regulated contaminants in your treated water for the previous calendar year in your annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR).
File Under: Physical Properties
Drinking Water Testing - Parameter Types
MCL’s (Maximum Contaminant Levels) MCL’s are levels that set by the USEPA and are enforceable to Public Water Utilities, requiring additional treatment, when the levels are exceeded. These same guidelines should be at least considered, by owners of private wells. Some states have more strict guidelines than the USEPA. Not all parameters have MCL’s. If the parameter has an MCL, it’s listed.
MCLG’s (Maximum Contaminant Level Goals) MCLG’s are goals set by the USEPA that we should all strive for when consuming drinking water from any water supply. Concentrations of certain parameters (even below the MCL’s), are still not healthy for humans and animals to drink. These same guidelines should at least be be considered, by owners of private wells. Some states have more strict guidelines than the USEPA. Not all parameters have MCLG’s. If the parameter has an MCLG, it’s listed.
ACTION LEVELS ACTION LEVELS are a specified concentration of a respective parameter in drinking water, that is above a “treatment level” set by the USEPA. When these levels are exceeded, further treatment and monitoring is required by the respective utility who’s water violated this limit.Action Levels apply to parameter-rules such as but not limited to the Copper/Lead Rule.
PARTS PER MILLION (ppm) PPM is a scientific measurement which represents milligrams of the parameter being tested per liter of the respective liquid. Example: If Copper in your water supply is at a concentration of 1.00 mg/L, this is the same as saying the concentration is 1.00 ppm.