RHP’s certified industrial hygienists, public health scientists, and certified safety professionals have extensive knowledge and experience working closely with building owners, building management, occupants, renters, or leasers of commercial, public, industrial or residential properties such as factories, office buildings, single-family homes, apartment complexes, residential communities, and condominium buildings to collect and interpret water quality samples for contaminants such as lead, copper, arsenic, nitrates, and coliform.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) sets legal limits on over ninety (90) contaminants in drinking water. RHP has assessed numerous drinking water sources to identify the presence or absence of chemical and biological contaminants regulated by the USEPA that can be found in drinking water. Commonly sampled parameters to assess general drinking water quality, their source, and regulatory limits include:

  • Arsenic: Arsenic is an odorless and tasteless semi-metal that can enter water from natural deposits in the earth or from agricultural and industrial practices. The EPA adopted a standard for arsenic in drinking water of 10 parts per billion (ppb) or 0.010 mg/L that applies to both community water systems and non-transient/non-community water systems.
  • Lead and Copper: Lead can enter drinking water when pipes containing lead corrode. The most common problem is when brass or chrome faucets/fixtures contain lead solder from which lead can enter into the water system. The EPA, through their National Primary Drinking Water Regulations and Lead and Copper Rule (LCR), 56 FR 26460 has established an action level (AL) of 15 parts per billion (ppb) or µg/L for lead in potable water. Copper mainly enters drinking water from corrosion of copper containing plumbing materials. The EPA LCR establishes an AL of 1300 ppb or µg/L for copper in potable water. For more information on lead in water sampling, please visit the RHP Lead in Water page. 
  • Nitrates: Nitrates (and nitrites) are acute inorganic contaminants used as a fertilizer. The EPA standard for Nitrates is 10 mg/L or ppm.

Total Coliform

Total coliforms are a group of bacteria that are generally harmless to humans, but their presence indicate the potential presence of other harmful organisms. They are used to understand the adequacy of water treatment and understand the water distribution. Detection of fecal coliforms (a subset of total coliforms) or E. coli (a subset of fecal coliforms) can indicate that the water system is contaminated with fecal waste. EPA, as described in the Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR), has set the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) for total coliforms at zero and Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) is based on the occurrence of a condition that includes routine and repeat samples.

We work closely with our clients to design a sampling strategy to assess drinking water quality based on their specific water source (e.g., well water) and possible contamination. This may or may not include the chemical and microbiological contaminants described above. All samples collected by RHP are submitted to accredited laboratories for water contaminant analysis.

For further references and RHP White Papers on the topic, see: rhprisk.com/white-papers

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RHP Risk Management is a leader in the field of Industrial Hygiene, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Built Environment, Risk Management, Dose Estimation & Analysis, and Exposure Simulation Testing. Our highly trained and sophisticated team of professionals work together seamlessly on small and large projects. Our roster includes certified industrial hygienists, public health scientists, risk assessors, certified safety professionals, field staff, an engineer, an anthropologist, an economist, certified paralegals, and support staff.

We work with our clients to develop solutions to their most pressing concerns. Understanding exposures and risks through a grounding in a sound, defensible, state- of- the- art scientific approach gives our clients peace of mind. Empowered by a comprehensive understanding of exposures we can provide, clients are better equipped to recognize previously unseen business risks, manage known risks, target areas for control systems, comply with regulations, and to be braced for regulatory or litigation actions. Senior staff have served as experts in front of stakeholders, public, workers, regulatory, and State and Federal courts.