There are many water quality parameters, conditions, or contaminants that do not have specific regulatory water quality standards set by the EPA or state regulatory agencies. In some cases, there may be guidance from the water industry or other organizations or professionals. This section includes water quality parameters that may directly or indirectly cause a health or an aesthetic problem with your water or are common parameters that are used in the assessment and development of common water treatment systems. This section of the website will be used for "emerging contaminants" for which standards may be developed in the future.
"Emerging Contaminants - An "emerging contaminant" is defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a chemical or material that is characterized as a perceived, potential, or real threat to human health or the environment or by a lack of published health standards (Source).
If you see a health-based standard for any of these contaminants, it is likely that this standard comes from the most recent copy of the "EPA Health Advisories" ("EPA's health advisories are non-enforceable and non-regulatory and provide technical information to state agencies and other public health officials on health effects, analytical methodologies, and treatment technologies associated with drinking water contamination"), standards set by select or specific states, or guidelines contained in the "Statewide Health Advisories" that are associated with the "clean-up or remediation" of contaminated sites.
If you would like to see a specific parameter added to this section, please contact us.
Microbiological agents range from single cell organisms to small living things such as Bacteria, Protozoans, Fungi, Molds, and Viruses. This section deals with bacteria, which may or may not be in the water itself, which have an indirect effect on the water quality. Such effects include: elevated Iron and Manganese levels, Hydrogen Sulfide Gas, and reduced water flow. Because the effects are indirect, the Bacteria themselves are not regulated although the effects may be.
Inorganics can include a combination of metals, salts, compounds, particles, and mineral complexes. Inorganics with No Standard may lack a standard because the parameter is still under evaluation or does not appear to have a significant direct effect on water quality. Common Inorganic contaminants with No Standard include: Alkalinity, Boron, Bromide, Hardness, Lithium, Sodium, and Strontium.
There are many organic compounds that do not have specific drinking water standards that are set by the EPA or by any states. In some cases this is because the organic compound has not been used in the United States or there is not enough information to set a specific standard. Common Organic contaminants with No Standard include: Acetone, gamma-Hexachlorocyclohexane (Lindane), Glycols, Methyl Ethyl Ketone (2-Butanone), Naphthalene, and PFOA PFOS PFAS PFCs (Perfluorinated Chemicals).
There are a number of dissolved gases in water that may be a problem or concern in your drinking water. In general, these gases do not have a specific drinking water standard, but they may be present in your water and create a nuisance, aesthetic, or use issue, a health concern, or, in some cases, an explosion hazard. In this section we discuss four gases: Carbon Dioxide, Hydrogen Sulfide, Methane, and Radon. Note that Hydrogen Sulfide, Methane, and Radon are also discussed in other sections.
A condition is a combination of parameters, rather than a single contaminant or parameter, that can have a negative Aesthetic, Cosmetic, or Technical effect on your water quality. It also includes events that are not contaminants themselves but which will affect the water quality (like a broken pipe). Common conditions with No Standard include: Corrosivity, Dissolved Gasses, Elevated Chlorine and Chlorine By-Products, Broken Water Line, and Scale-Forming Water.