Heptachlor has been used for decades to protect our cornfields from insects. Now it has limited use and is regulated by the USEPA. Safe Home offers a couple kits that provide drinking water testing for heptachlor in city water and well water supplies.

Parameter Type: Drinking Water Testing for Semi-Volatile Organics

Parameter Name: Heptachlor

What it is and Where it Comes From:

Heptachlor is an organochlorine compound that was used as an insecticide. Usually sold as a white or tan powder, heptachlor is one of the cyclodiene insecticides. Due to its highly stable structure, heptachlor can persist in the environment for decades. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency has limited the sale of heptachlor products to the specific application of fire ant control in underground transformers. Heptachlor was used from 1953 to 1974 as a soil and seed treatment to protect corn, small grains, and sorghum from pests. It was also used to control ants, cutworms, maggots, termites, and other pests in agriculture and in the home. 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 heptachlor, allowing you to collect your water sample and ship it directly to our EPA-Certified Laboratory. This platform of drinking water testing for heptachlor 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 semi-volatiles 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.

Health Effects:

Effects on the liver and central nervous system have been noted in animals acutely exposed to heptachlor via the oral route. Heptachlor is considered to have high to extreme acute toxicity based on short-term oral tests in rats. Animal studies have reported effects on the liver, kidney, and the immune and nervous systems from oral exposure to heptachlor. Heptachlor has been known to cross the placenta to the developing fetus in humans. However, inadequate information is available to determine whether heptachlor may cause developmental or reproductive effects in humans. Animal studies have reported developmental effects, including fetal resorptions, and decreased postnatal survival, as well as reproductive effects such as failure of animals to reproduce, following oral exposure to heptachlor. Human studies on heptachlor exposure and cancer are inconclusive. There are several case reports describing a possible link between heptachlor exposure and leukemia and neuroblastoma; however, insufficient information is available to confirm a causal effect.

Solutions to Contaminant Levels:

After drinking water testing, what are my treatment options? The EPA approved method for treating heptachlor in drinking water is granular activated carbon filtration system. A filter with granular activated carbon (GAC) is a proven option to remove certain chemicals, particularly organic chemicals, from water. Activated carbon is a porous material that removes organic compounds from liquids and gases by a process known as “adsorption.” In adsorption, organic molecules contained in a liquid or gas are attracted and bound to the surface of the pores of the activated carbon as the liquid or gas is passed through. Adsorption occurs on the internal surface of activated carbon, termed the adsorbent. During adsorption, liquids or gases pass through the highly porous structure of the activated carbon. The compound(s) to be removed, termed the adsorbate(s), diffuses to the surface of the adsorbent, and is retained because of attractive forces. The primary raw material used in the production of our activated carbons is bituminous coal that is crushed, sized, and processed in low temperature bakers followed by high-temperature activation furnaces. Activation develops the pore structure of the carbon. Through adjustments in the activation process, differentiated pores for a particular purification application are developed. 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).

MCL’s: 0.0004 ppm
MCLG’s: None

Drinking Water Testing - Parameter Types


Important Terms

  • 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.
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