Water Testing Guidelines
I just drilled a water well on my ranch and have tested it for salt content. I'd like to know if there are guidelines for acceptable levels of contaminants for specific uses (livestock watering, irrigation, human consumption, etc)., what contaminants should I test for (depending on proposed use).
Generally it is a good idea to test for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, pH and total dissolved solids (salts). These are the basics to test, unless there is a known issue with other parameters. Because there is likely to be someone try to drink it, the water test is compared to the drinking water standards. See the information below on how each parameter may shape up. A few of the standards have a livestock rating, too.
This is our library of information on water testing.
- EQM103F, Drinking Water Well Management (Fact Sheet)
- EQM103W, Drinking Water Well Management (Work Sheet)
- WQ101, Understanding Your Water Test Report
- WQ102, Bacteria in Drinking Water
- WQ103, Nitrate in Drinking Water
- WQ104, Understanding Home Water Treatment Systems
- WQ650, Farm•A•Syst: An Action Program for Safe Drinking Water
- WQ660, An Action Program for Safe Drinking Water