Analyses Offered

Listed below are analyses the would be of interest to homeowners, lake and river groups, and various research project managers. You may request a package or any individual analysis by calling 715-346-3209 or send an email to weal@uwsp.edu.

 

Packages 

Homeowners - Metals - Pesticides - Lakes - Rivers

Individual Parameters

Metals - Miscellaneous

 

 

Homeowner Package:

Coliform Bacteria

 

This is a test to determine the sanitary condition of a water supply. Indicates whether or not the water supply is bacteriological safe.  This is the most important test to perform regularly on a private water system.  If coliform bacteria is detected, the sample will also be checked for E.coli bacteria as well.  Priority analysis is available.
 
 

Nitrate plus Nitrite-Nitrogen

Nitrate is the most widespread chemical contaminant in Wisconsin’s groundwater. Elevated levels may serve as an indicator of other potential contaminants, such as pesticides or chemicals associated with septic system effluent. The safe drinking water standard for nitrate-nitrogen is 10 mg/L. Priority analysis is available.
 
 

pH

Measure of relative acidity of the water. Useful in assessing the corrosivity of water to plumbing.
 
 

Alkalinity

Amount of bicarbonate, the major anion in water, related to pH and corrosion.
 
 

Hardness

Measure of the amount of calcium and magnesium. Important if water softening is considered.
 
 

Chloride

An indicator ion that, if found in elevated concentration, points to potential contamination from septic systems, fertilizer, landfills, or road salt.
 
 

Conductivity

Measure of total dissolved minerals in water. Change in conductivity or unusual ratio of conductivity to hardness may signal presence of contaminants.
 
 

Corrosivity Index

A calculation of the corrosivity index is performed to determine the tendency for plumbing to corrode or for lime to deposit in your plumbing.
 

 
 

Metal Package:

 

Arsenic

The safe drinking water standard for arsenic in drinking water is 0.010 mg/L. The source of arsenic in groundwater is generally associated with naturally occurring arsenic in soils and mineral deposits. In rare cases, past pesticide use practices (especially those associated with cherry orchards) or improper disposal of arsenic containing chemicals may also be potential sources.
 
 

Calcium

Naturally occurs in groundwater where soils or underground rock formations contain limestone or dolomite. Essential to bone and tooth development, blood clotting, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and may reduce heart disease. Along with magnesium, causes hard water.
 
 

Copper

Not naturally found in significant concentrations in Wisconsin’s groundwater. Elevated levels of copper are generally caused by corrosion of copper plumbing. Acidic or corrosive water exacerbates corrosion of copper plumbing. In small amounts, copper aids in iron utilization in the body. Levels above 1.3 mg/L exceed the safe drinking water standard.
 
 

Iron

Naturally occurring mineral which causes taste problems and discoloration of water. Important component of blood hemoglobin.
 
 

Lead

Not naturally occurring in Wisconsin groundwater. Found in water supplies with lead solder or pipes especially when water is corrosive or soft.
 
 

Magnesium

Naturally occurs in Wisconsin groundwater. Along with calcium, causes hard water.
 
 

Manganese

Naturally occurring in some groundwater. Elevated levels of manganese in groundwater can result in aesthetic problems. Black precipitates (specks or staining) are often a result of manganese. There is a health advisory limit of 0.300 mg/L manganese. Problematic levels of manganese and iron are sometimes found together since both are associated with low levels of oxygen in groundwater.
 
 

Potassium

Levels greater than 10 mg/L may indicate contamination from animal waste or may come from water softeners that use potassium chloride.
 
 

Sodium

Water supplies that are softened will contain elevated levels of sodium if sodium chloride is used as the softener salt. Elevated levels in groundwater may be the result of road salt or septic system effluent.
 
 

Sulfate

Naturally occurring in some groundwater. Concentrations above 250 mg/L may cause a laxative effect, especially in people not accustomed to drinking the water. Sulfate is not the same as hydrogen sulfide which causes the rotten egg odor, although both contain the element sulfur.
 
 

Zinc

Concentrations greater than 1 mg/L usually occur only when corrosive water is distributed through galvanized pipes, or in zinc mining areas.
 

 
 

Pesticide Package:

Pesticide Package banner 
 
 

Diaminochlorotriazine (DACT)

This test is to be considered as a low cost screening tool and not an absolute determination of the safety of drinking water.
 
 
Triazines are a class of pesticides which includes the herbicide atrazine. Atrazine has three metabolites (breakdown products) that are of concern, and one of the more commonly found metabolite is DACT.From our studies, we have found that DACT is a good test to predict the total concentration of atrazine and its metabolites in groundwater.
 
 
 
We recommend this test as a low cost alternative to the Nitrogen and Phosphorus (N/P) containing pesticide analysis. If your results come back as less than 0.10 ppb, your water can be likely considered safe for atrazine and its metabolites.
 
 
 
The State of Wisconsin has determined there is a risk to drinking water contaminated with atrazine plus three of its chlorinated metabolites. The State has a drinking water standard of 3.0 ppb for total chlorinated atrazine residues. We have determined that if your sample is greater than 2.0 ppb triazine, there is a good chance your water supply exceeds the total atrazine standard of 3.0 ppb. We then recommend proceeding to the N/P analysis (below) or contacting the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (608-224-4503). They may provide free follow up testing.
 
 
 

Chloroacetanilide Herbicide Metabolites ~ USGS OFR 00-182 

 
Alachlor ESA Acetochlor ESA Metolachlor ESA
Alachlor OA Acetochlor OA Metolachlor OA
 
 
 
These chemicals are from herbicides (alachlor, acetochlor, and metolachlor) that have replaced atrazine. While these parent herbicides normally degrade in the top soil, they form ethane sulfonic acid (ESA) and oxanillic acid (OA) degradates which can penetrate to groundwater. They have been found in groundwater in many of the agricultural areas of the state of Wisconsin.
 
 
 
At this time, there is little known regarding the health implications of drinking water contaminated with these chemicals. The only DNR regulatory standard that exists is for Alachlor ESA. It has a standard of 20 ppb.
 
 
 

Nitrogen and Phosphorus (N/P) Containing Pesticides ~ Modified Method 8270 (includes triazine)

 
Acetochlor Cycloate Pebulate
Atrazine Dimethinamid Prometon
De-ethyl Atrazine Diphenamid Prometryne
De-isoprophyl Atrazine Dyfonate Pronamide
Alachlor (Lasso) EPTC (Eptam) Propachlor
Ametryn Etridiazole Propazine
Atraton Hexazinone Simazine
Bromacil MGK (a + b) Simetryn
Butachlor Metolachlor (Dual) Terbacil
Butylate Metribuzin (Sencor) Terbutryn
Carbofuran Molinate Trifluralin
Chloropropham Napropamide Vernolate
Cyanazine (Bladex) Norflurazon  
 
 
 
This test is for those who have a reason to suspect contamination (other than atrazine). High nitrates from an agricultural source is a good start. We usually recommend homeowners have their water tested for nitrates before going ahead with this test. These pesticides are more commonly used in agriculture in Wisconsin. Again, this test doesn't cover all pesticides.
 
 
 

Organophosphorus Pesticides ~ Modified WEAL Method 8270  

 
Azinphos ethyl Dioxathion Mevinophos
Azinphos methyl Disulfoton Naled
Bolstar EPN Phorate
Carbophenothion Ethion Phosmet
Chlorfenvinphos Ethoprop Phosphamidon
Chlorpyriphos Ethyl Parathion Ronnel
Coumaphos Famphur Stirophos
Demeton-O Fensulfothion Sulfotepp
Demeton-S Fenthion TEPP
Diazinon Malathion Tokuthion
Dichlorvos Merphos Trichloronate
Dimethoate Methyl Parathion
 
 
 
This test covers a wide range of insecticides. Generally, these compounds are not found in Wisconsin groundwater as often as those in the nitrogen and phosphorus containing pesticides. If there is concern from excessive use, a local spill, or a nearby agricultural chemical loading and mixing facility, this test may be appropriate.
 
 
 

 

Lakes:

 
 Lakes Banner
 
 
 

Package A

The analyses in this package gives the basic chemistry of your lake relative to the mineralogy and nutrient content.
 
Package A: Canoe

Alkalinity
Ammonium Nitrogen
Calcium
Chloride
Color
Conductivity
Nitrate plus Nitrite Nitrogen
pH

Potassium
Reactive Phosphorus
Sodium
Sulfate
Total Hardness
Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen
Total Phosphorus
Turbidity​
 
 

Package B

 
The analytes in this package affect the plant growth within the lake, which may be an indication of land use runoff. This package is recommended after running Package A for at least two years.
 
Ammonium Nitrogen Reactive Phosphorus
Chloride Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen
Conductivity Total Phosphorus
Nitrate plus Nitrite Nitrogen
 
 
 

 

 Rivers: 

 
Rivers banner 
 
 
 
The analytes run in this package are the nutrients that would affect plant growth within the river, which may be an indication of land use runoff.
 
 
 
Ammonium Nitrogen Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen
Chloride Total Phosphorus
Nitrate plus Nitrite Nitrogen Total Suspended Solids
Reactive Phosphorus
 
 
 

 
 
 

Individual Parameters

 
 Inidividual parameters banner
 

Metals:

 
Aluminum Cobalt Potassium
Arsenic Copper Selenium
Barium Fluoride Silica
Beryllium Iron Silver
Boron Lead Sodium
Cadmium Magnesium Sulfur Total
Calcium Manganese Zinc
Chloride Mercury
Chromium Nickel
 
 
 

Miscellaneous: 

 
Analyses: Hardness Phosphorus
Acidity Total Hardness Soluble Reactive
Alkalinity Calcium Hardness Total EPA Digestion
Chlorophyll-a Nitrogen Solids
Color pH 6.8 Ammonium Dissolved Total (TDS)
Conductivity Nitrate Dissolved Volatile (Includes TDS)
Methylene Blue Active Sub Nitrite Suspended Sediment
pH Nitrate plus Nitrate Suspended Total (TSS)
Sulfate Organic Nitrogen Suspended Volatile
Turbidity Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen Total

Total Nitrogen Total Volatile
Bacteria Oxygen  
Coliform Test (Present/Absent) Demand Biological  5-day  
Coliform Fecal (Count) Demand Chemical