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Professional well water testing

 
 
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 05:36 am
I was given this advice on well water and just wanted to get suggestions if this was a good way of determining anything let alone a wise thing to do.

<<The first time you do a Coliform test yourself and find Coliform remove the petri dish lid or the Presence/Absence test container cap and take a whiff. Then the next time you are collecting well water samples, smell the water for the same odor and see if over a few years you can learn how to use an educated guess as to the different odors caused by the different types of bacteria found in well water. Not all Coliform contaminated waters will have an odor. More hands on field experience might help.>>

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
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farmerman
 
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Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 06:04 am
@Andy CWS,
The point of this escapes me. A coliform test is a rel cheap test, why try to guesstimate? Since there are several bacteria strains that show up for coliform testing and only 2 are pathogens, why not try to get an accurate reading.
Organic contaminants are usually tested using gas chromatography which is a sort of "sniffer" but much more calibrated.

Water borne pathogens can cause so many diseases that only guessing can be a real limitation especially if youre doing this as a business. I dont believe that there is a valid standard method for "sniffing" coliforms that would stand up to peer scrutiny or be admissable as data.

Besides, many water types impart a different odor due to their chemical makeup. I can have you sniff H2S water that, while full of Sulfo reductans bacteria, will be totally coliform free. Or limestone waters hve a irony smell and some low ph water smells like sulfur also.
Andy CWS
 
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Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 08:49 am
@farmerman,
Farmerman,

Thank you. I was thinking along your line, there. It just doesn't make sense to me why anyone would want to do that. You have introduced a few new lexicons and I appreciate it.

I believe not to let things go by chance or guessing. Clear tests that have been established and confirmed are the most reliable. I'll keep my nose to the Thai kitchen and hrinding stone.

thanks again,
Andy Christensen, CWS-II
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