Well Water Testing Analysis and Contamination in MA and NH – Sodium & Chloride in water

The eighth post in our series highlighting some of the contaminants that can be found in water wells.  Northeast Water Wells is available to collect samples and test your well water for contaminants anytime.

If you have a private well, regular water quality testing is very important.  Northeast Water Wells recommends testing your well at least every two years.  Many contaminants cannot be identified by taste or odor, making it difficult for homeowners to know if the water quality of their well has changed.

What are sodium and chloride in well water?

Sodium and Chloride occur naturally in groundwater, usually at such low levels they cannot be tasted.  Elevated sodium and chloride levels usually happen because of road salt, water softeners, natural underground salt deposits, pollution from septic systems as well or they are the result of a well’s close distance the ocean or salt ponds.  Together, sodium and chloride combine to form common table salt.

What are the regulations for sodium and chloride in drinking water?

There is no regulation set for sodium, however, the EPA has recommended that sodium levels not exceed 20 milligrams per liter of water, for people on low sodium on diets.

Chloride is not considered a health concern, but is a nuisance chemical.  It is listed under the Secondary Drinking Water Regulations and the Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level is 250 milligrams per liter of water.    High Chloride levels can cause corrosion and shorten the life of pipes, pumps, hot water heaters and fixtures.

How do I control the levels of Sodium and Chloride in my well water?

If Chloride is present at concentrations above the SMCL, arrange to test the water periodically to determine if any upward trend exists.  If concentrations are clearly increasing with time, an effort should be made to define the source.   Treatment methods for sodium and chloride include reverse osmosis, distillation and deionization.

Northeast Water Wells offers a variety of testing packages to take care of all of your water needs. Call today to set up a time for us to collect a sample of your water. All of our testing is done through a state certified analytical lab.

If you live in Massachusetts you can view the guidelines for Well Water Testing here

If you live in New Hampshire you can view the guidelines for Well Water Testing here

Article written by Karen Provencher, Northeast Water Wells.