How do we test the pollution levels of groundwater?



  1. 0 Votes

    Some of the basic, on-site tests preformed on wells and groundwater are pH tests, conductivity tests, and testing for iron, which can help indicate pollution. pH tests can be done with paper strips coated with a chemical that changes color based on the pH of the water, or with a meter that measures voltage. Conductivity tests, also done with a specialized meter, can indicate the mineral content of the water. Iron testing can be done by sight in some cases, or can be done in a lab. Other tests, like testing for specific pollutants, might require more specialized lab work before the tester can confirm what is polluting groundwater.

  2. 0 Votes

    Groundwater, whether public or found in private wells, is tested using water quality indicator (WQI) tests. This measures the presence and amount of certain germs in water. Some water quality indicators are total coliforms (microbes that can indicate if harmful germs such as viruses, bacteria, or parasites are also present in the water), fecal coliforms/E. coli (not to be confused with the more dangerous E. Coli O157:H7), and pH levels. The EPA has set maximum contaminant levels and treatment technique requirements for over 90 different contaminants. The EPA has also set up a system of monitoring ground water contamination levels in each of the states and tribal lands. For a much more detailed (35 pages worth!) look at EPA’s assessment program, you can check out

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