Posted Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 by & filed under FAQs.

You can view a national map of hardness in surface water. Hardness data (reflecting mostly calcium, plus a little magnesium) for individual drinking-water suppliers is on the following pages: EPA Local Drinking Water Information It is important to note that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not set a legal limit or standard for hardness… Read more »

Posted Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 by & filed under FAQs.

The USGS Water Science for Schools Web site has a link to “Water Science Glossary of Terms”. This page offers links to additional glossaries. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also has a Drinking Water Glossary.

Posted Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 by & filed under FAQs.

Many, but not all, fish kills in the summer result from low concentrations of dissolved oxygen in the water. Fish, like all other complex life forms, need oxygen to survive. They get theirs in the form of oxygen gas dissolved in the water. That’s why it’s important to have an aeration device, a bubbler, in… Read more »

Posted Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 by & filed under FAQs.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets standards for water that could affect human health and works with local government officials to reduce health risks in water where you swim or play. You may want to contact your local health deparment or state drinking water office for information specific to your area. Some EPA Web sites… Read more »

Posted Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 by & filed under FAQs.

“E. coli is a type of fecal coliform bacteria commonly found in the intestines of animals and humans. E. coli is short for Escherichia coli. The presence of E. coli in water is a strong indication of recent sewage or animal waste contamination. Sewage may contain many types of disease-causing organisms.” The full fact sheet… Read more »

Posted Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 by & filed under FAQs.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has contaminant-specific fact sheets for many drinking water contaminants on their Web page Drinking water and health: What you need to know. Click on “What are the health effects of contaminants in drinking water?” This page also addresses the standards for levels of contaminants in drinking water under the heading… Read more »

Posted Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 by & filed under FAQs.

As a government agency, the USGS does not comment on commercial products, but many organizations evaluate consumer products and post product reports on the Internet. NSF International (which EPA and others established for the purpose of certifying water treatment products, among other things), the Water Quality Association (the trade association of treatment companies), the U.S…. Read more »

Posted Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 by & filed under FAQs.

Your water might be affected by iron, a commonly occurring constituent of drinking water. Iron tends to add a rusty, reddish brown (or sometimes yellow) color to water, and leaves particles of the same color. If the color is more like black, it could be a combination of iron and manganese. Both of these metals… Read more »

Posted Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 by & filed under FAQs.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and States regulate bottled water. For general information about bottled water, some sources are the International Bottled Water Association and NSF International. The The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides the following information on bottled water and tap water: Bottled water is not necessarily safer than your tap water…. Read more »

Posted Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 by & filed under FAQs.

Bioremediation is the process by which microbes (generally bacteria) or plants transform a harmful water contaminant into a non-harmful substance, much as we turn sugar into carbon dioxide and water. Bioremediation can help clean up ground water contaminated with gasoline, solvents, and other contaminants. Often, the bacteria are already present in the soil or aquifer,… Read more »