Northern Health Required Water Quality Parameters

This health package covers the most common drinking water contaminants for the Northern Health Region.

This kit gives you the necessary supplies and instructions and aligns with the Required Water Quality Parameters by Northern Health. Click Here to see this list. Make sure our list of analyses lines up with what you need. You must contact your health official to know what needs to be tested.

More Information Below.


What it tests

This package includes the following parameters listed below:

Total Coliforms – Exist naturally in soil, water, and vegetation. Total Coliforms are generally harmless but their presence indicates inadequate processing or contamination

Escherichia coli – E.coli are members of the fecal coliform group and their presence is an indicator of direct fecal contamination.

Heterotrophic plate count (HPC) –  is an analytic method that is a useful operational tool for monitoring general bacteriological water quality throughout the treatment process and in the distribution system. HPC results are not an indicator of water safety and, as such, should not be used as an indicator of potential adverse human health effects. Each drinking water system will have a baseline range of HPC bacteria levels depending on the site-specific characteristics. Unexpected increases in the HPC baseline range could indicate a change in the treatment process, a disruption or contamination in the distribution system, or a change in the general bacteriological quality of the water.

Background Growth: Usually seen as yellow colonies. An indicator of a general bacterial population in a sample. This can lead to many other health concerns. Any microbiological test can determine if there is bacterial background growth.

Anions – These compounds include Chloride, Fluoride, Nitrate, Nitrite, and Sulfate. Each of these compounds has different symptoms and effects on our body. If enough organic and inorganic salts enter into the water system, they make the water toxic and poisonous to drink. Provides the Cation-Anion Balance.

Total Metals – This includes: Aluminum, Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Boron, Cadmium, Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Lead, Magnesium, Manganese, Mercury, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Sodium, Uranium, Zinc.

Arsenic:  Even low amount of this can kill a human. You cannot smell, taste, or see arsenic in water. This is a common contaminant for the Northern Health Region of BC.

Chemical and Physical:   Alkalinity, Color, Electrical Conductivity, Hardness, Langelier Saturation Index, Metals Scan, Nitrogen Species (Organic N, Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite), pH, Total Dissolved Solids, Total Organic Carbon, Turbidity, UV Transmittance, Sulfide

Sulfide: Two forms of sulphur are commonly found in drinking water: sulphate and hydrogen sulfide. Sulfate minerals can cause the scale to build up in water pipes similar to other minerals and may be associated with a bitter taste in water that can have a laxative effect on humans and young livestock. Hydrogen Sulfide gas produces a “rotten egg” or “sulphur water” odour and taste in the water.

This test is performed on water sources to look for concentrations of hazardous organisms/substances, to identify trends in water quality, for source protection planning and water system design process. This package includes bacteriological parameters, chemical analysis as well as parameters affecting aesthetic concerns. Additional testing and analytical adjustments for specific contaminants may be recommended based on the results of the original analysis. If additional testing was recommended by Northern Health, please list the extra items in the comments of your order and we will contact you to finalize your order.

Are you looking for something else? CARO probably tests for it! Send us a custom order request and we will take care of it for you!

What you get

Upon purchase of this test, you will receive a CARO Kit:

Testing Containers – We fill your testing containers with the correct preservatives and store them at a specific temperature in our CARO Kit.

Containers Included:
1.  C07 – Microbiology: 300 mL sterile with Na2S2O3 preservative
2. C05 – Metals: 125 mL HDPE with HNO3 preservative
3. C06 – Mercury: 40 mL with HCl
4. C08 – 250 mL HDPE
5. C09 – Cyanide: 125 mL HDPE with NaOH preservative
6. C23 – 125 mL Plastic Sulfide
7. C37 – 40 mL Vial TOC x2
8. C10 – 125 mL Plastic (COD)

Sampling Guidelines – We’ll make sure you know the correct methods of sampling to ensure there aren’t any hiccups in the testing process.

Chain of Custody – This is a standard laboratory form that must be filled out and shipped back to us with the bottles. It’s used by our staff to make sure we do our job right!

The Report – We will send your report via email and you can access it online if you use our service called ClientConnect. Regulation maximum accepted concentrations are listed as well so you can compare your results.

Does not include sampling safety equipment as what is required depends on various circumstances. Please contact a local environmental consultant if you have questions or concerns about safely sampling. CARO provides testing services only, no sampling services.

How it works

After you purchase a kit on our store,

We will ship the CARO Kit to you via express shipping. In the CARO Kit, you’ll receive the sampling containers, a sheet to show you how to sample, as well as a chain of custody form (COC). The COC form is a standard lab procedure to get the correct information from you.

Once you sample, it’s advised to get the samples back to us ASAP. You can do this by getting that CARO Kit to a post office or courier and send it back to one of our locations. Certain tests like Microbiology (found in most drinkability packages) have a sample holding time of only 24 hours, so it’s vital to get the containers in transit right away.

So we’ve received your samples, allow 5 – 7 business days for us to analyze them and produce the reports for you. We will email the report to you when it’s ready. Every result’s turnaround time (TAT) will be started on the delivery of filled bottles back to the laboratory.

Internal rushes are possible for non-micobiology tests. Either use the Turnaround Time add on, or make a custom inquiry via the contact us webpage or on the phone.

Does not include sampling safety equipment as what is required depends on various circumstances. Please contact a local environmental consultant if you have questions or concerns about safely sampling. CARO provides testing services only, no sampling services.


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