Facts about your drinking water
Your water comes from natural sources
Most of the drinking water manages these catchment areas to ensure they can continue to deliver the best quality water for years to come. expertise and monitoring ensures they select the best quality source water for us to filter.
Your water is filtered
We filter 100% of your water. Experienced operators, state-of-the-art monitoring and computer controls ensure that your water meets the Drinking Water GuidelinesThis external link will open in a new window. These guidelines are some of the strictest in the world.
Your water is safe to drink
add a small amount of chlorine to your drinking water at our filtration plants to protect you from micro-organisms. It’s safe and effective. The amounts we add are informed by the Drinking Water Guidelines.
also use other steps to make sure your drinking water remains safe after it leaves the filtration plant. These include:
state-of-the-art leak detection programs
secure, covered reservoirs and inspection programs
secondary chlorination in the network
pressurising the pipes to keep things out.
Your water is tested and monitored
continuously monitor your water quality at key steps. work together with to take samples every step of the way from the lake or river, to just outside customers’ homes and businesses.
Protect Your Family: A Guide to Water Quality Testing for Private Wells
Some contaminants in drinking water have been linked to cancer and toxicity, posing a risk to human health. Many contaminants often have no taste, odor, or color. Only laboratory testing can detect them.
While there is no state requirement to have your well water tested (although there may be from your mortgage lender or local Board of Health), the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recommends that all homeowners with private wells do so, and use a state certified laboratory.
Contamination of Wells
Well water originates as rain and snow that then filters into the ground. As it soaks through the soil, the water can dissolve materials that are present on or in the ground, becoming contaminated.
Other contaminants find their way onto the land from human activities. On a large scale, industrial/commercial activities, improper waste disposal, road salting, and fuel spills can introduce hazardous substances to the ground. However, even typical residential activities, such as the application of fertilizers and pesticides, fueling of lawn equipment, and disposal of household chemicals can contaminate the ground when done improperly. Even an on-site residential septic system can pose a threat to your well. That is why taking measures to protect your well from contamination is so important.
The following tests provide only the most basic indicators of a well’s water quality. These tests identify some of the common natural and man-made contaminants found in our state’s well water. However, you should also consider nearby land uses to decide whether additional tests are appropriate for your well. It is not necessary to do all of the tests at one time.
Water Quality Indicators
Volunteers test for several key water quality indicators. The resulting water quality data provide baseline information, helps identify trends or changes in water quality, and aids investigations into problems such as nonpoint-source pollution and nutrient enrichment.
professional monitors conduct similar tests when they evaluate water quality. The testing provides data to LCRA, providing an early warning system for potential water pollution. For detailed information on water quality tests conducted by CRWN volunteers, see the CRWN Water Quality Monitoring Manual
Dissolved oxygen (DO)
The DO test measures the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water. Oxygen is essential for both plants and animals, but high levels in water can be harmful to fish and other aquatic organisms. Nonpoint-source pollution can decrease the amount of dissolved oxygen in water, which can be harmful to fish and other aquatic organisms. The decomposition of leaf litter, grass clippings, sewage and runoff from feedlots decreases DO readings. Dissolved oxygen is measured in milligrams per liter (mg/L). Expected levels: 4.0 to 12.0 mg/L
Aquatic organisms are dependent on certain temperature ranges for optimal health. Temperature affects many other parameters in water, including dissolved oxygen, types of plants and animals present and the susceptibility of organisms to parasites, pollution and disease. Causes of temperature change in water include weather conditions, shade and discharges from urban sources or groundwater inflows. Temperature is measured in degrees Celsius (°C). Seasonal trends: May to October: 22 to 35°C, November to April: 2 to 27°C
A pH test measures the alkalinity or acidity of water. A pH of 7 is neutral, below 7 is acidic and above 7 is basic or alkaline. Acid rain, from auto exhaust or other pollutants, causes a drop in the pH. Pollution from accidental spills, agricultural runoff and sewer overflows can also change the pH. Buffering capacity is water’s ability to resist changes in pH, and is critical to the survival of aquatic life. The limestone soils of Central Texas act to neutralize these acids and often result in a more basic pH. While young fish and insect larvae are sensitive to a low pH (acid), extreme values on either end of the scale can be lethal to most organisms. Expected levels: 6.5 to 9.0
Escherichia coli (E. coli)
E. coli is a fecal coliform bacteria that comes from human and animal waste. The Environmental Protection Agency uses E. coli measurements to determine whether fresh water is safe for recreation. Disease-causing bacteria, viruses and protozoans may be present in water that has elevated levels of E. coli. Levels of E. coli can increase during flooding. E. coli is measured in number of colony forming units. The EPA water quality standard for E. coli bacteria is 394 colony forming units per 100 mL.
The specific conductance test measures the ability of water to pass an electrical current. Conductivity in water is affected by inorganic dissolved solids such as chloride, sulfate, sodium, calcium and others. Conductivity in streams and rivers is affected by the geology of the area through which the water flows. Streams that run through granite bedrock will have lower conductivity, and those that flow through limestone and clay will have higher conductivity. High conductance readings also can come from industrial pollution or urban runoff, such as water flowing from streets, buildings and parking lots. Extended dry periods and low flow conditions also contribute to higher conductance. Organic compounds, such as oil, do not conduct electrical current very well, so an oil spill tends to lower the conductivity of the water. Temperature also affects conductivity; warm water has a higher conductivity. Specific conductance is measured in microsiemens per centimeter (µS/cm). Expected levels: 300 to 700 µS/cm
Internet of things enabled real time water quality monitoring system
Smart solutions for water quality monitoring are gaining importance with advancement in communication technology. This paper presents a detailed overview of recent works carried out in the field of smart water quality monitoring. Also, a power efficient, simpler solution for in-pipe water quality monitoring based on Internet of Things technology is presented. The model developed is used for testing water samples and the data uploaded over the Internet are analyzed. The system also provides an alert to a remote user, when there is a deviation of water quality parameters from the pre-defined set of standard values.
Ensuring the safety of water is a challenge due the excessive sources of pollutants, most of which are man-made. The main causes for water quality problems are over-exploitation of natural resources. The rapid pace of industrialization and greater emphasis on agricultural growth combined with latest advancements, agricultural fertilizers and non-enforcement of laws have led to water pollution to a large extent. The problem is sometimes aggravated due to the non-uniform distribution of rainfall. Individual practices also play an important role in determining the quality of water
Water quality is affected by both point and non-point sources of pollution, which include sewage discharge, discharge from industries, run-off from agricultural fields and urban run-off. Other sources of water contamination include floods and droughts and due to lack of awareness and education among users. The need for user involvement in maintaining water quality and looking at other aspects like hygiene, environment sanitation, storage and disposal are critical elements to maintain the quality of water resources.
Fertilizers and pesticides used by farmers can be washed through the soil by rain, to end up in rivers. Industrial waste products are also washed into rivers and lakes. Such contaminations enter the food chain and accumulate until they reach toxic levels, eventually killing birds, fish and mammals. Chemical factories also dispose wastes in the water. Factories use water from rivers to power machinery or to cool down machinery. Raising the temperature of the water lowers the level of dissolved oxygen and upsets the balance of life in the water
Main objectives of online water quality monitoring include measurement of critical water quality parameters such as microbial, physical and chemical properties, to identify deviations in parameters and provide early warning identification of hazards. Also, the monitoring system provides real time analysis of data collected and suggest suitable remedial measures.
Accurate and routine water testing is key to protecting the environment and public health. Water contamination can occur naturally, or as a result of human activity. provides water testing services to public and private sector clients including consultants, natural resource sectors, First Nations, municipalities, federal and provincial governments, and individuals
These are the critters that can make you sick, including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, etc. microbiological testing capabilities in water include:
Biological Activity Reaction Tests
As a very general rule (that not all chemists agree on!), inorganic compounds are composed of two or more elements, except those containing only carbon and hydrogen bonds (AKA: Organic compounds). A sample of capabilities in this area include:
These compounds are characteristically made up of carbon atoms bonded to hydrogen atoms. They can also include other elements including Nitrogen, Oxygen, etc. Some examples of Organic parameters tests for include:
Pharmaceuticals & Personal Care Products
Perfluorinate Compounds (PFCs)
Volatile Organic Compounds
Disinfection Bi-products (HAAs, THMs)
Glycols and Volatile Fatty Acids
Some metals are essential for life and are naturally available in food, soil, and water. Others can be harmful, even at low concentrations. Testing services include:
Low Level ICP-MS
ICP-MS/MS for High Matrix
Mercury (Cold Vapour)