What are the usual causes of fish kills?

June 14th, 2011

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 »

What are the federal health limits for water used for drinking water, as well as for swimming and boating?

June 14th, 2011

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 »

What if my drinking water contains E. coli?

June 14th, 2011

"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 »

Where can I get information about drinking water contaminants and standards?

June 14th, 2011

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 »

Can you give me some advice on commercial products such as water filters?

June 14th, 2011

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 »