Public Water Systems
Detailed information on EPA Standardized Monitoring Framework is available for download (PDF).
EPA's List of Regulated Contaminants
Volatile Organic Contaminants
- Carbon Tetrachloride
- Vinyl Chloride
pesticides & herbicides
- 2,4,5-TP (Silvex)
- Di 2-ethylhexyl adipate
- Di 2-ethylhexyl phthalate
- Dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD)
- Ethylene dibromide
- Heptachlor epoxide
- Oxamyl [Vydate]
- PCBs [Polychlorinated biphenyls]
- Coliform bacteria
- Fecal Coliform and E coli
- Alpha emitters.
- Beta/photon emitters.
- Combined Radium 226/228.
- Radon gas
Many water suppliers add a disinfectant to drinking water to kill germs such as giardia and e coli. Especially after heavy rainstorms, your water system may add more disinfectant to guarantee that these germs are killed.
- Chlorine Dioxide
Disinfection byproducts form when disinfectants added to drinking water to kill germs react with naturally-occuring organic matter in water.
- Total Trihalomethanes
- Haloacetic Acids
For more information on EPA contaminants, sources, and MCL's, click here
The EPA recommends that well water be tested every year.* for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. If you suspect other contaminants, test for those. Here is a list to help identify potential problems.
*Testing more than once a year may be warranted in special situations:
- someone in your household is pregnant or nursing
- there are unexplained illnesses in the family
- your neighbors find a dangerous contaminant in their water
- you note a change in water taste, odor, color or clarity
- there is a spill of chemicals or fuels into or near your well
- when you replace or repair any part of your well system
|Conditions or Nearby Activities||Test For|
|Recurring gastro-intestinal illness||Coliform bacteria|
|Household plumbing contains lead||pH, lead, copper|
|Radon in indoor air or region is radon rich||Radon|
|Corrosion of pipes, plumbing||Corrosion, pH, lead|
|Nearby areas of intensive agriculture||Nitrate, pesticides, coliform bacteria|
|Coal or other mining operations nearby||Metals, pH, corrosion|
|Gas drilling operations nearby||Chloride, sodium, barium, strontium|
|Dump, junkyard, landfill, factory, gas station, or dry-cleaning operation nearby||Volatile organic compounds, total dissolved solids, pH, sulfate, chloride, metals|
|Odor of gasoline or fuel oil, and near gas station or buried fuel tanks||Volatile organic compounds|
|Objectionable taste or smell||Hydrogen sulfide, corrosion, metals|
|Stained plumbing fixtures, laundry||Iron, copper, manganese|
|Salty taste and seawater, or a heavily salted roadway nearby||Chloride, total dissolved solids, sodium|
|Scaly residues, soaps don't lather||Hardness|
|Rapid wear of water treatment equipment||pH, corrosion|
|Water softener needed to treat hardness||Manganese & Iron, Calcium & Iron, Silica|
|Water appears cloudy, frothy, or colored||Color, detergents|