I just got my well water tests back from the lab at U.S. Oil (! I know, but a reputable water testing lab according to our local Conservation Dept.).
No explanation sheet was included, and their web site is of no use. I sure would like to know what the results mean; I’m too impatient to wait until Monday, and an hour of googling didn’t turn up exactly what I had hoped for. Surely there are a handful of biological/chemical types among Dopers that could help?
My well is a 330-ft driven well, cased to 170’ and using a submersible electric pump. The water samples were taken from the cold faucet in the kitchen, early in the AM, without running the water much first (so lead was probably at its peak level). Bottles were supplied by the lab. Four tests were run on 3 samples.
Nitrogen (nitrate) = 0.0056 mg/l
Coliform Total = safe
E. Coli = safe
Lead = 1.4 µg/l
The US standard for Nitrates (max) is 10 mg/l, so it looks like I have no worry in this department. This very low-level contamination could come from nearby septics and/or miles-away farms.
I assume “safe” means “zero” but I wish they had quantified the Coliform & E. Coli numbers.
The lead puzzles me the most. The Fed max is 15 parts per billion, which I believe translates to 15 µg/l. My level is about 10% of that. But how close to dangerous is 10%? Is this a linear scale, and this is one-tenth as dangerous as 15 ppb?
And is lead exposure cumulative, so in 10 years of direct drinking from the faucet, I would get 100% of the max?
I have no children using this water at present, and rely on a Brita Filter for drinking & cooking purposes; Brita claims to remove 98% of lead. That sounds pretty darn good.
Still, I wonder. Any advice? Much appreciated.