Water Quality Parameters and Testing Results

General Water Quality Parameters

The table below shows some general water quality parameters.  These averages are for the water leaving the plant.

Testing Done Average Definition of Substance
pH 7.6 A measure of acidity and alkalinity.
Hardness (as CaCO3) 100 mg/L A measure of the total concentration of calcium and magnesium ions.
Calcium (as Ca) 27 mg/L  

Inorganic substances often found in water.

Magnesium (as Mg) 8 mg/L
Sulfate 10 mg/L
Chloride 11 mg/L
Sodium 6 mg/L
Alkalinity (as CaCO3) 78 mg/L A measure of the capacity of water to neutralize an acid.
Conductivity 232 uS/cm A measure of the ability to carry an electrical current


Treatment Chemicals Added to the Water

 Chlorine is added to the water in the form of sodium hypochlorite for disinfection. The free chlorine residual leaving the plant is normally between 1.0-1.3 mg/L. The maximum amount allowed by the EPA is 4.0 mg/L. Chlorine levels tend to drop as water moves through the system

Orthophosphate is added to the water to provide corrosion control. It forms a coating on lead and copper surfaces which helps reduce the dissolving of the metals into the water. The average dose leaving the plant is 3.39 mg/L for 2023.

Fluoride is added to the water to prevent tooth decay.  The recommended concentration by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is 0.7 mg/L.  Fluoride is naturally present in our source water and averages 0.08 mg/L. After treatment, concentrations in our finished water ranged between 0.73-0.97 mg/L, and averaged 0.77 mg/L. While the EPA has established primary standards that limit fluoride levels to a maximum of 4.0 mg/L, there is also a secondary standard that require public notification should levels ever exceed 2 mg/L.


Lead and Copper

To learn about lead and copper, or to see testing results, click here (link to lead and copper info).


PFAS Chemicals

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as PFAS, are contaminants of emerging concern. PFAS are a large group of human-made chemicals that are fire resistant and repel oil, stains, grease, and water. They have been widely used in fire-fighting foams, stain repellants, nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing and shoes, fast food wrappers, personal care products, and many other consumer goods. PFAS chemicals are very persistent, meaning that they do not easily break down in the environment. They have also been found to have negative effects on humans when ingested.

The water plant tap was tested for 29 different PFAS compounds in May, August, and November of 2023. Test result showed that all 29 different PFAS compounds were not detected. PFAS compounds were also not detected in samples between 2018-2023. PFAS has always been below detected levels in our tap water.

The water plant tap is scheduled to be tested for PFAS again by September of  2024.

If you’d like more information about PFAS testing or would like to review the results, please email us at BAWTP@baycodws.org.

Water Quality Reports

For more information about water quality please see the current water quality report (Consumer Confidence Report).