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Interpretation Of Common Tests

All results are measured in milligrams per liter.

Test

Excellent

Satisfactory

Objectionable

       

Chloride

ND 20

20 250

Over 250 mg/L

Fluoride

0.7 - 1.2

ND - 0.7 or

1.2 - 4

Over 4.0 mg/L
(USEPA drinking water standard is 4.0 mg/L for the state of Michigan)

Hardness

50 125

125 250

Over 250 mg/L  or less than 25  (17.1 = 1 grain)

Iron

ND - 0.2

0.2 - 0.3

Over 0.3 mg/L

Nitrate

ND -   3

4   - 10

Over 10 mg/L  (USEPA drinking water standard)  

Nitrite

ND - 0.3

0.4 1

Over 1 mg/L  (USEPA drinking water standard)  

Sodium

ND 20

See below See below

Sulfate

ND 50

50 250

Over 250 mg/L

 

 

 

Over 500 mg/L  (See Related Problems)

ND = "Not Detected"

TEST

RELATED PROBLEMS

   

Chloride

Taste and corrosion.

Fluoride

Lower levels are beneficial in preventing tooth decay.  High levels may cause mottling of enamel.

Hardness

Scaling of water fixtures, soap scum at high levels, corrosion at low levels.

Iron

Staining, turbidity, taste, and odor.

Nitrate

Levels greater than 10mg/L are a health hazard.  Methemoglobinemia (blue baby) especially infants.   USEPA requires analysis within 48 hours.

Nitrite

Levels greater that 1.0 mg/L are a health hazard. Methemoglobinemia (blue baby) especially infants  USEPA requires analysis within 48 hours.

Sodium

Special diets may require water of low sodium content.  NOTE: all persons on severely restricted sodium diets should consult with their physician regarding continued use of the water supply.  Acceptability of sodium concentration varies with sensitivity to taste.

Sulfate

Taste, odor, scaling in boilers & heat exchangers.  Over 500 may have laxative effect especially for new supply users (travelers diarrhea).

Related Content
 •  State of Michigan Websites for Contamination Information PDF icon
 •  Replacement Well Construction and Well Abandonment Specifications
 •  Site Investigation and Cleanup
 •  Nitrate in Drinking Water Brochure PDF icon
 •  Water Quality Maps for Michigan by County
 •  Nitrate in Drinking Water PDF icon
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