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) Screen

This is a test that detects argicultural chemicals called triazines.  Triazines are a class of herbicides that include atrazine, simazine, and cyanazine.  The DACT screen is an approximate test that is performed as an inexpensive alternative to a more detailed test.  It is a useful first step in determining whether your water is being impacted by pesticides and below health-based standards for triazine type herbicides.

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 Dyfonate
Atrazine EPTC (Eptam) Propazine             
De-ethyl Atrazine Ethafluralin Simazine
De-isoprophyl Atrazine Metolachlor (Dual) Terbufos
Alachlor (Lasso) Metribuzin (Sencor) Triallate
Chlorpyrifos Pendimethalin Trifluralin
Cyanazine (Bladex) Phorate
Dimethinamid Prometon
   
This test is for those who have a reason to suspect contamination (other than atrazine).  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.
 

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 analyses run in this package are the nutrients that 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 
 
Analyses 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 Chromium Nickel
Arsenic Cobalt Potassium
Barium Copper Selenium
Beryllium Iron Silver
Boron Lead Sodium
Cadmium Magnesium Sulfur Total
Calcium Manganese Zinc
 

Miscellaneous: 

Analyses: Hardness Phosphorus
Alkalinity Total Hardness Soluble Reactive
Chlorophyll-a Nitrogen Total
Chloride Ammonium Solids
Color Nitrate Suspended Sediment
Conductivity Total
Fluoride Organic Nitrogen Total Dissolved
pH Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen Total Suspended
Saturation Index (Corrosivity) Total Nitrogen Total Volatile
Sulfate Oxygen Total Volatile Suspended
Turbidity Demand Chemical
Bacteria  
Coliform Test (Present/Absent)  
Coliform Fecal (Count)