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Demo Report
Canada's Premier At-Home Water Testing & Reporting Solution


Health related parameters

Parameter Description Health Effects
Fluoride Fluoride is a negative ion of the element fluorine, which can be found in various chemical compounds. It is present in air, water, soil, and most foods. Fluoride found in well water in Canada occurs naturally. The concentration of fluoride in a well water sample depends on a number of factors, such as the amount of fluoride present in the rock through which the groundwater has passed and whether the water chemistry is favorable for fluoride to remain dissolved. Basis of MAC: Moderate dental fluorosis (based on cosmetic effect, not health).
Nitrate (as N) Nitrate is a naturally occurring chemical made of nitrogen and oxygen and are found in air, soil, water, and plants. In groundwater, nitrate primarily comes from decomposing plant and animal material, agricultural fertilizers, manure, and domestic sewage. Groundwater wells can be contaminated by leaching of chemical fertilizers, leaching of animal manure, and improperly treated septic and sewage discharges. Health basis of MAC: Methemoglobinemia (blue baby syndrome) and effects of thyroid gland function in bottle-fed infants. Other: Classified as possible carcinogen under conditions that result in endogenous nitrosation
Nitrite (as N) Nitrite is a naturally occurring chemical made of nitrogen and oxygen. Nitrogen and nitrogen compounds, such as nitrite, are found in air, soil, water, and plants. In certain conditions, when oxygen is unavailable, nitrate may be converted to nitrite. Therefore many sources of nitrate are also potential sources of nitrite. Sources of nitrite in groundwater include: leaching of chemical fertilizers, leaching of animal manure, improperly treated septic and sewage discharges, decaying plant or animal material, and erosion of natural deposits. Health basis of MAC: Methemoglobinemia (blue baby syndrome) and effects of thyroid gland function in bottle-fed infants. Other: Classified as possible carcinogen under conditions that result in endogenous nitrosation.
Escherichia coli 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 presence of E. coli indicates recent faecal contamination and the potential presence of microorganisms capable of causing gastrointestinal illnesses; pathogens in human and animal faeces pose the most immediate danger to public health.
Total Coliform Total Coliform is a large collection of different kind of bacteria that are common in the environment (soil and vegetation) and are generally harmless. If a lab detects only coliform bacteria in drinking water, the sample should also be tested for the presence of E.coli. Total coliforms are not used as indicators of potential health effects from pathogenic microorganisms; they are used as a tool to determine how well the drinking water treatment system is operating and to indicate water quality changes in the distribution system.
Free Cyanide Cyanide is a chemical unit that can be released into groundwater from natural processes. Mining can also be a source of cyanide pollution to ground and surface water. Cyanide is also used in electroplating, photographic development, making plastics, mining processes, and herbicides. It is also released in car exhaust. Health basis of MAC: rapid breathing, tremors and other neurological effects (short-term), weight loss, thyroid effects, nerve damage (long-term).
Aluminum Aluminum is an extremely abundant metal in the earth’s crust. Levels of aluminum in water are generally low, but can vary across Canada. Aluminum can leach from rock and soil to enter any water source. It can also enter water sources through human activity such as mining or industrial manufacturing processes. British Columbia is the only province that has a standard for aluminum, which is 9.5 mg/L. The Canadian recommended standard for aluminum is 2.9 mg/L, and is based on neurological effects observed in rats. Studies in humans have found possible associations between aluminum ingestion and diseases of the nervous system. However, these studies have a number of design limitations and do not provide strong evidence that aluminum can cause these diseases. Studies in animals have consistently observed adverse effects on the nervous system following ingestion of high levels of aluminum, which supports effects seen in human studies.
Antimony Antimony is a metal that is present naturally in small quantities in water, rocks, and soils. The most common source of antimony in drinking water is the corrosion of antimony-containing plumbing materials. In groundwater, sources of antimony also include mining wastes, manufacturing effluent, leaching of fertilizers, leaching of landfills, and fossil fuel combustion products. Health basis of MAC: Microscopic changes in organs and tissues (thymus, kidney, liver, spleen, thyroid)
Arsenic Arsenic is a natural element found in the Earth’s crust. Some areas of Canada have a greater potential for elevated arsenic levels in drinking water. The most common source of arsenic in groundwater is through erosion and weathering of soils, minerals, and ores. Industrial effluents and pesticide runoff may also contribute arsenic to water in some areas. Health basis of MAC: Cancer (lung, bladder, liver, skin) (classified as human carcinogen) Other: Skin, vascular and neurological effects (numbness and tingling of extremities)
Barium Barium is a common element in the earth’s crust, although only trace levels are normally found in natural waters. Barium compounds are often used in oil and gas well drilling operations. Industrial effluents may also contribute to barium in water in some areas. Health basis of MAC: Increases in blood pressure, cardiovascular disease
Boron Boron is a naturally occurring element found in rock and soil. Boron present in groundwater may be natural or due to coal combustion products, municipal sewage, leaching of landfill materials, and the production of fertilizers and pesticides. Health basis of MAC: Reproductive effects (testicular atrophy, spermatogenesis)
Cadmium Cadmium is a naturally occurring element found in very low concentrations in most rocks. The main source of cadmium in drinking water is through corrosion of plumbing materials with galvanized steel/iron components such as service lines, pipes, brass fittings, cement mortar linings and well components such as casings and drop pipes. Other sources of cadmium in groundwater include: mining and smelting operations, industrial operations, burning of fossil fuels, fertilizer application, sewage sludge disposal, and leaching of landfills. Health basis of MAC: Kidney damage and softening of bone
Chromium Chromium is a metal found naturally in ores, soils, and plants. Chromium compounds from natural sources are usually found in groundwater in trace amounts only. The most common man-made sources of chromium in groundwater are burning of fossil fuels, mining effluent, and effluent from metallurgical, chemical, and other industrial operations. Chromium may affect the taste or smell of well water, but not at levels normally found in groundwater. Health basis of MAC: Hyperplasia of the small intestine from chromium (VI).
Copper Copper is found naturally in rock, soil, plants, animals, water, sediment, and air. Copper is frequently found naturally in groundwater, however, levels are generally very low. Common synthetic sources of copper include pesticide and mining processing waste. Copper is often used in household plumbing materials, such as pipes and faucets. Corrosion of copper pipes is the greatest source of copper in drinking water. If the source of copper is corrosion of plumbing materials, be aware that other metals, such as lead or cadmium. Health basis of MAC: Gastrointestinal effects (short-term), liver and kidney effects (long-term).
Lead Lead is a naturally occurring element. However, naturally occurring lead is rarely found dissolved in drinking water sources. The main source of lead in drinking water is through corrosion of plumbing materials with lead or brass components, such as in some pipes, solder, faucets, fittings, and older galvanized well liners. Health basis of MAC: Reduced intelligence in children measured as decreases in IQ is the most sensitive and well established health effect of lead exposure. There is no known safe exposure level to lead. Other: Possible effects include behavioral effects in children. Reduced cognition, increased blood pressure, and renal dysfunction in adults are also possible. Classified as probably carcinogenic to humans
Manganese Manganese is a naturally occurring essential element found widely in air, water and soil. It is prevalent across Canada in surface water and groundwater. The most common sources of manganese in drinking water are naturally occurring and can be attributed to weathering of manganese bearing rocks and soils. Other less common sources of manganese can be attributed to human activities including mining and industrial activities, leachate from landfills and sewage effluent. Manganese can make your water smell metallically, or like oil or asphalt. Health basis of MAC: Effects on neurological development and behaviour; deficits in memory, attention, and motor skills. Other: Formula-fed infants (where water containing manganese at levels above the MAX is used to prepare formula) may be especially at risk.
Mercury Mercury is the only common metal which is liquid at ordinary temperatures. Possible sources of mercury in drinking water include air pollution from coal combustion, waste incineration and from metal refining operations and from natural mineral deposits in some hard rock areas. Mercury can cause a metallic smell in water. Health basis of MAC: Irreversible neurological symptoms.
Selenium Selenium is found naturally in small quantities in rocks and soils and the presence in groundwater depends of the rock and soil in the area. Other sources of selenium in groundwater include contamination from copper and lead refinery effluent, municipal wastewater, hazardous waste sites. For most people, food is one of the main sources of ingested selenium. Health basis of MAC: Chronic selenosis symptoms in humans following exposure to high levels. Other: Hair loss, tooth decay, weakened nails and nervous system, disturbances at extremely high levels of exposure
Strontium Strontium is a naturally occurring trace element found in seawater and soil. Strontium can occur naturally in groundwater and surface water sources through the weathering of rocks and soils or as a result of human activities such as mining and manufacturing operations. Health Basis of MAC: Bone effects (adverse effects on bone formation in infants as well as rickets, osteomalacia)
Uranium Uranium is a naturally occurring radioactive element that exists in soil and rock throughout Canada. Naturally occurring uranium in groundwater comes from the dissolving of minerals that contain uranium. Some human activities are also sources of uranium – mill tailings, emissions from the nuclear industry, and the combustion of coal and other fuels. Health basis of MAC: Kidney effects (various lesions); may be rapidly reversible after exposure ceases.
Zinc Zinc is a metal normally found in small amounts in nature. Although zinc occurs naturally, most zinc finds its way into groundwater because of human activities. Galvanized liners or fittings or metal pipes coated with zinc, present in many older wells or plumbing systems, can leach zinc into drinking water.Well water may also be contaminated through processes, such as: mining, lead-zinc smelters, steel production, coal burning, and hazardous waste disposal. British Columbia is the only province that has a MAC for zinc, which is 3 mg/L. This value is specific to the protection of human health and water derived using a toxicological referenced value protective of adults.

Aesthetic and operational parameters

Parameter Description Treatment Options
ChlorideChloride is a common non-toxic material present in small amounts in drinking water and produces a detectable salty taste at the aesthetic objective level of 250 mg/L. Chloride is widely distributed in nature including from salt-bearing geological formations and salt water intrusion. However, chloride can aslo enter the groundwater from salt used for road de-icing and contributions from wastewaters.Distillation, Reverse Osmosis
SulphateAs water moves through soil and rock formations that contain sulfate minerals, some of the sulfate dissolves into the groundwater. The presence of sulfate in drinking water above 150 mg/L may result in noticeable taste. High levels of sulfate may be associated with calcium, which is a major component of scale in boilers and heat exchangers. In addition, sulfate can be converted into sulfide by some anaerobic bacteria creating odour problems and potentially greatly accelerating corrosion. Water Softener, Distillation, Reverse Osmosis
True ColourThe aesthetic objective for colour in drinking water is 5 TCU (True Colour Units). Water can have a faint yellow/brown colour which is often caused by organic materials created by the decay of vegetation. Sometimes colour may be contributed to by iron and manganese compounds produced by processes occurring in natural sediments or in aquifers. The presence of organic materials is the main cause of disinfection by-products when water is treated with chlorine. Water Softener
Dissolved Organic CarbonThe aesthetic objective for dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in drinking water is 5 mg/L. High DOC is an indicator of possible water quality deterioration during storage and distribution due to the carbon being a growth nutrient for biofilm dwelling bacteria. High DOC is also an indicator of potential chlorination by-product problems.
CopperCopper occurs naturally in the environment but is rarely present in raw water. Copper is used extensively in domestic plumbing in tubing and fittings and is an essential trace component in food. Drinking water has the potential to be corrosive and to cause copper to dissolve in water. At levels above 1.0 mg/L, copper may impart an objectionable taste to the water. Water Softener, Distillation, Reverse Osmosis, Activated Carbon Filtration
IronExcessive levels of iron in drinking water supplies may impart a brownish colour to laundered goods, plumbing fixtures and the water itself; it may produce a bitter, astringent taste in water and beverages. In addition, the precipitation of iron can also promote the growth of iron bacteria in water mains and service pipes. Water Softener, Distillation, Reverse Osmosis, Activated Carbon Filtration
ManganeseLike iron, manganese is objectionable in water supplies because it stains laundry and fixtures black, and at excessive concentrations causes undesirable tastes in beverages. Water Softener, Distillation, Reverse Osmosis, Activated Carbon Filtration
SodiumSodium is a common element in the natural environment and is often found in food and drinking water. In drinking water, sodium can occur naturally or be the result of road salt application, water treatment chemicals or ion-exchange water-softening units. At concentrations greater than 200 mg/L the water will have a strong salty taste.Distillation, Reverse Osmosis
ZincZinc is naturally occurring but can also be released through industrial and domestic emissions as well as leaching from galvanized pipes, hot water tanks and brass fittings. Water containing zinc at concentrations in excess of 5.0 mg/L has an undesirable astringent taste and may be opalescent and develop a greasy film on boiling. Water Softener, Activated Carbon Filtration
pHpH is a parameter that indicates the acidity of a water sample. The operational guideline recommended in drinking water is to maintain a pH between 6.5 and 8.5. The principal objective in controlling pH is to produce a water that is neither corrosive nor produces incrustation. At pH levels above 8.5, mineral incrustations and bitter tastes can occur. Corrosion is commonly associated with pH levels below 6.5 and elevated levels of certain undesirable chemical parameters may result from corrosion of specific types of pipe. With pH levels above 8.5, there is also a progressive decrease in the efficiency of chlorine disinfection and alum coagulation.
Total Hardness (as CaCO3)The operational guideline for hardness in drinking water is set at between 80 and 100 mg/L as calcium carbonate. Hardness is caused by dissolved calcium and magnesium, and is expressed as the equivalent quantity of calcium carbonate. On heating, hard water has a tendency to form scale deposits and can form excessive scum with regular soaps. However, certain detergents are largely unaffected by hardness. Conversely, soft water may result in accelerated corrosion of water pipes. Hardness levels between 80 and 100 mg/L as calcium carbonate (CaCO3) are considered to provide an acceptable balance between corrosion and incrustation. Water supplies with a hardness greater than 200 mg/L are considered poor but tolerable. Hardness in excess of 500 mg/L in drinking water is unacceptable for most domestic purposes. Water Softener, Distillation
Total Dissolved SolidsNaturally occurring; sewage, urban and agricultural runoff, industrial wastewater. TDS above a concentration of 500 mg/L can effect taste and result in excessive scaling in water pipes, water heaters, boilers and appliances.Reverse Osmosis

Results of parameters for "Cozy Cottage" report

Parameter Unit Minimal
Detectable Level
Treated sample
Raw sample
M-Alkalinity (pH 4.5)mg/L2303299
Ammonia (as N)mg/L0.01<0.01<0.01
Nitrate (as N)mg/L0.053.933.98
Nitrite (as N)mg/L0.05<0.05<0.05
Bicarbonatemg/L as CaCO31302298
Carbonatemg/L as CaCO311<1
True ColourTCU1.55.16.9
Dissolved Organic Carbonmg/L0.42.72.9
Escherichia coliCFU/100mL100
Total ColiformCFU/100mL1029
Free Cyanidemg/L0.0010.0010.002
Total Hardness (as CaCO3)mg/L0.10.9334
Total Dissolved Solidsmg/L20640750

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