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Drinking Water Education Program. Sponsored by: Towns of Dellona, Excelsior and Winfield Sauk County UW-Extension Office Sauk County Land Conservation Department Sauk County Public Health Department Center for Watershed Science and Education. Sauk County

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Drinking water education program

Drinking Water Education Program

  • Sponsored by:

  • Towns of Dellona, Excelsior and Winfield

  • Sauk County UW-Extension Office

  • Sauk County Land Conservation Department

  • Sauk County Public Health Department

  • Center for Watershed Science and Education

Sauk County

Towns of Dellona, Excelsior and Winfield


Today s presentation
Today’s presentation

  • What is groundwater and where does it come from?

  • What do my individual test results mean?

  • General groundwater quality in the Towns of Spring Green and Franklin

  • Improving your water quality




Private vs public water supplies
Private vs. Public Water Supplies

Public Water Supplies

  • Regularly tested and regulated by drinking water standards.

    Private Wells

  • Not required to be regularly tested.

  • Not required to take corrective action

  • Owners must take special precautions to ensure safe drinking water.


Why do people test their water
Why do people test their water?

  • Installed a new well

  • Change in taste or odor

  • Buying or selling their home

  • Plumbing issues

  • Want to know if it’s safe to drink.


What are the health concerns
What are the Health Concerns?

  • Acute Effects – Usually seen within a short time after exposure to a substance.

    (ex. Bacterial contamination may cause intestinal disease)

  • Chronic Effects – Results from exposure to a substance over a long period of time.

    (ex. Arsenic or pesticides can increase the chance of developing certain types of cancer)


No one test tells us everything we need to know about the safety and condition of a water supply


Interpreting drinking water test results

Coliform bacteria about the safety and condition of a water supply

Sodium

Nitrate

Copper

Lead

Triazine

Zinc

Sulfate

Arsenic

Saturation Index

Alkalinity

Conductivity

Potassium

Interpreting Drinking Water Test Results

Tests important to health:

Tests for aesthetic

(taste,color,odor) problems:

Other important indicator tests:

  • Hardness

  • Iron

  • Manganese

  • Chloride

Red= human-influenced,Blue= naturally found


milligrams per liter (mg/l) = parts per million (ppm) about the safety and condition of a water supply

1 mg/l = 1000 parts per billion (ppb)


Tests important to health
Tests Important to Health about the safety and condition of a water supply

Coliform bacteria

  • Any present makes water unsafe

  • Not harmful themselves, but may indicate pathogens (E.coli)

  • Pathogens can cause gastrointestinal disease, cholera, hepatitis

  • Sources:

    • Sampling error

    • Soils

    • Human and animal waste

    • Well construction faults

    • Maintenance issues

Unsafe

Present

Safe

Absent


Some common causes of bacteria problems
Some Common Causes of Bacteria Problems about the safety and condition of a water supply


What should i do if i have bacteria problems
What should I do if I have Bacteria Problems? about the safety and condition of a water supply

1. Retest

2. Try to identify any sanitary defects

  • Loose or non-existent well cap

  • Well construction faults

  • Abandoned well

  • Inadequate filtration by soil

    3. Disinfect the well

  • Drill a new well

  • Use alternative source of water for drinking


  • Rock and Soil Impacts on Water Quality about the safety and condition of a water supply


    Tests for aesthetic problems
    Tests for Aesthetic Problems about the safety and condition of a water supply

    Hardness

    • Natural (rocks and soils)

    • Primarily calcium and magnesium

    • No health concerns

    • Problems: scaling, scum, use more detergent, decrease water heater efficiency

    “HARD”

    200

    IDEAL?

    150

    “SOFT”

    0


    Tests for overall water quality

    0 about the safety and condition of a water supply

    7

    14

    Basic

    Acidic

    Tests for Overall Water Quality

    • Alkalinity – ability to neutralize acid

    • Conductivity –

      • Measure of total ions

      • can be used to indicate presence of contaminants (~ twice the hardness)

    • pH – Indicates water’s acidity and helps determine if water will corrode plumbing


    Tests for overall water quality1

    Saturation Index about the safety and condition of a water supply

    (-3)

    (-2)

    (-1)

    (0)

    (+0.5)

    (+1)

    (+2)

    (+3)

    Severe

    Moderate

    Slight

    Ideal

    Slight

    Moderate

    Severe

    Corrosion occurs

    Scaling occurs

    Tests for Overall Water Quality


    Land Use about the safety and condition of a water supply

    and Water Quality

    Well

    pumping

    water


    Nitrate nitrogen
    Nitrate Nitrogen about the safety and condition of a water supply

    Test Important to Health

    • Greater than 10 mg/L Exceeds State and Federal Limits for Drinking Water

    • Between 2 and 10 mg/L Some Human Impact

    • Less than 2.0 mg/L “Transitional”

    • Less than 0.2 mg/L “Natural”

    10

    UNSAFE

    2

    0

    “NATURAL”


    Tests important to health1
    Tests Important to Health about the safety and condition of a water supply

    Nitrate-Nitrogen

    Sources

    • Agricultural fertilizer

    • Lawn fertilizer

    • Septic systems

    • Animal wastes

    • Decomposing wastes

    Health Effects

    • Methemoglobinemia (blue baby disease)

    • Possible links to birth defects, miscarriages (humans & livestock)

    • Indicator of other contaminants


    Nitrate nitrogen1
    Nitrate Nitrogen about the safety and condition of a water supply

    What can you do?

    • Change well depth or relocate well

    • Use alternative source of water for drinking

    • Water treatment devices

      • Reverse osmosis

      • Distillation

      • Anion exchange

    • Eliminate contamination source


    Greater than 250 mg/l about the safety and condition of a water supply

    - No direct effects on health

    - Salty taste

    - Exceeds recommended level

    Greater than 10 mg/l may indicate human impact

    Less than 10 mg/l

    “Natural” in much of WI

    Tests for Aesthetic Problems

    Chloride

    250 mg/l

    10 mg/l


    Test important to health
    Test Important to Health about the safety and condition of a water supply

    Arsenic

    • Sources: Naturally occurring in mineral deposits

    • Standard: 0.010 mg/L (10 ppb)

      Health Effects:

    • Increased risk of skin cancers as well as lung, liver, bladder, kidney, and colon cancers.

    • Circulatory disorders

    • Stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea

    • Unusual skin pigmentation


    Test important to health1

    Unsafe about the safety and condition of a water supply

    1.3

    0

    Test Important to Health

    Copper

    • Sources: Copper water pipes

    • Standard: 1.3 mg/L

      Health Effects:

    • Some copper is needed for good health

    • Too much may cause problems:

      Stomach cramps, diarrhea,

      vomiting, nausea

      Formula intolerance in infants


    Tests for aesthetic problems1
    Tests for Aesthetic Problems about the safety and condition of a water supply

    Iron

    • Natural (rocks and soils)

    • May benefit health

    • Red and yellow stains

      on clothing, fixtures

    • Potential for iron bacteria

      • Slime, odor, oily film

    0.3 mg/L

    0


    Test important to health2
    Test Important to Health about the safety and condition of a water supply

    Lead

    • Sources: Lead solder joining copper pipes (pre-1985)

    • Standard: 0.015 mg/L (15 ppb)

      Health Effects:

    • Young children, infants and unborn children are particularly vulnerable.

    • Lead may damage the brain, kidneys, nervous system, red blood cells, reproductive system.

    Unsafe

    0.015

    0


    Tests Important to Health about the safety and condition of a water supply

    Triazine Screen

    • Measures the levels of triazine pesticides (atrazine, simazine, propazine, cyanazine, etc)

    • Sources: Triazine pesticides (mainly atrazine used on corn crops)

    • Drinking water limit:

      3 ppb


    A word about water treatment
    A word about water treatment… about the safety and condition of a water supply

    • Test water at a certified lab

    • Know the types and amounts of contaminants you need to remove

    • Choose a device approved

      by the Wisconsin Department

      of Commerce for the problems

      found in your water

    • Maintenance is necessary to

      ensure proper treatment.


    DATCP Bottled Drinking Water - 2006 about the safety and condition of a water supply

    http://datcp.state.wi.us/fs/consumerinfo/food/health/bottled-water/index.jsp


    Next steps
    Next Steps about the safety and condition of a water supply

    • Test in 15 months for bacteria, or if water changes color or clarity

    • Test in 15 months for nitrate, or seasonally if levels are elevated

    • Test for lead and copper if in your plumbing


    Next steps1
    Next Steps about the safety and condition of a water supply

    • Test for known or potential contaminants in your neighborhood

      • Gasoline?

      • Pesticides?

      • Solvents?

    Check for known contamination sites in Sauk County at:

    http://dnr.wi.gov/org/aw/rr/gis/index.htm


    Thank you for coming
    Thank you for coming! about the safety and condition of a water supply

    For more information go to the

    Central Wisconsin Groundwater Center

    website.


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