Analysis & water treatment
The bacteriological quality of drinking water is generally estimated by the analysis of total and faecal coliformes that the water contains. If we count only one faecal coliformes or five total coliformes or more per 100 ml of water, the water supply system must be decontaminated after what we verify the efficiency of the intervention with another analysis. Every disinfection operation must have been preceded by the elimination of the contamination source.
If the water contains traces of total coliformes you have to repeat the operation once again and make sure to determine the cause of the coliformes presence and eliminate the source of contamination.
Generally, we recommend the analysis of total and faecal coliformes twice a year. These analysis should be done in the spring’s melting period (April or May) and during the low level water period (August), which are the periods of the year that are subject to the a higher contamination risk.
The physical or chemical quality of drinking water can not be evaluated with only one indicator. There are many parameters that don’t always have relations between them and it is important to specify what type of analysis is going to be done based on the problems that were observed or suspected. Specific standards are established for several physical and chemical parameters in accordance with the different possible uses of the water, including consumption. In regards of these quality standards, a consumer can ask an analysis based on physical parameters (color, turbidity, conductivity, etc.) or chemical parameters (chlorates, Nitrates, hardness, etc.) by providing a water sample. These analyzes must be done when the well connection is completed or if a problem should occur later on such as a change of color, of flavor or health problems. It isn’t necessary to repeat frequently these analyzes since the results usually stay the same. If we want to search for pesticides, it is important to know which one we are looking for and consult specialists to learn the specific sampling techniques.
The water sample for the bacteriological analysis must be taken in sterile containers. Certain dosages for the physical and chemical contaminants demand special containers. The municipal or MRC inspector and of course the Ministry of the Environment and Wildlife are able to give you the list of accredited laboratories and inform you of the elements that are susceptible to be found in your water and which is necessary to measure the concentrations. These elements differ depending on the geographical situation and the nature of the surrounding human activities.
Consequence on our health
The health problems that will most often occur are gastro-enteritis and skin infections due to bacterial or viral contamination. Young children, the elderly and passing trough visitors are the ones that will be easily affected. A chemical contamination can also provoke nausea and vomiting within a few minutes of drinking the water.