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Potable Water vs Wastewater
Audrey Brubeck
Posted: Friday, April 27, 2012 1:30 PM
Joined: 4/24/2012
Posts: 2

My laboratory is often asked to determine if a puddle of water is from leaks in our drinking water or wastewater system. If the water is fresh enough (bubbling out of the ground) chlorine can sometimes be used. Often this is not an option. Sometimes coliforms are a good indicator, but not always. Does anyone have any suggestions for this type of work?
Posted: Monday, April 30, 2012 10:25 PM
Joined: 8/15/2011
Posts: 5

Ground water or other inflows and swimming pools often need to be considered in addition to waste water and drinking water sources when trying to identify a water source.  Conductivity, fluoride, ammonia spot test (Nessler's reagent), chloride and odour can rapidly provide data to make an assessment concerning the source.  Naturally, the person evaluating this data needs to be familiar with stength of the local drinking water to assess this type of data.





Keith C
Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 12:42 PM
Joined: 6/13/2012
Posts: 4

If you potable water system is fluoridated then a F- test is quite good at differentiating between city water and wastewater.  We also run a colilert quantitray test on the sample.  High E.coli results point to a wastewater source; low or no E.coli point towards city water or ground water being the source.