Testing Water for Metals & Heavy Metals
WTS is a leading UK water, air and environmental services company offering a full range of environmental solutions to organisations throughout the UK and Ireland. Our expert laboratory analysis services include testing water for metals (and heavy metals), wastewater and trade effluent testing, chemical and microbiological analysis and in-field sampling services.
Why test water for metals?
There are a number of reasons why you may want to test water for metals, including some of the more common heavy metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic.
You may extract your water from a private supply and be concerned about contamination of your drinking water, or you may be a business looking to satisfy trade effluent discharge standards for your wastewater. Whatever your reasons WTS has the expertise to help you.
Testing water for metals and heavy metals
Our specialist laboratory based water analysis and in-field sampling solutions include:
Full national UK coverage
With offices in London serving the South and South East England, Manchester (North West), Birmingham (Midlands), Bristol (South East England and Wales), Leeds (North and North East) and Glasgow (Scotland), supported by regional teams of specially trained engineers, water treatment service specialists and technical experts we can offer professional, cost effective water testing, in-field water sampling and laboratory analysis services across the UK and Ireland.
Contact WTS today to learn how our professional water quality analysis, in-field testing and sampling solutions can help improve your water quality, water treatment validation and regulatory compliance processes. To speak with one of our water testing experts call us on 0330 223 31 31 or simply use this button.
Understanding water quality
Here in the UK we’re lucky to have a safe and reliable supply of clean drinking water, literally on-tap.
Most homes and commercial buildings in the UK get their mains water supplied directly by one of the big water companies, who have a responsibility to check the quality of the water being supplied, and testing it to ensure it falls within strict legal limits set by the regulators.
Water supplied for drinking (often called potable water) in the UK has to be constantly monitored, and there is an independent regulatory body called the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) which monitors this. DWI inspectors regularly enter consumer properties to take water samples for independent analysis.
The quality of our drinking water is not something most of us need to worry about unless something goes wrong.
However, if you’re buying or leasing a property for residential or commercial purposes which takes its water from a private water supply such as a well, borehole, spring or other water source, then it’s up to you to ensure your water meets the standards set in the Water Supply Regulations 2016.
Confirming this may involve testing water for metals, chemicals, microbiological parameters and other common contaminants.
What metals are found in water?
In general, heavy metals contaminating our water supplies are less of a problem than they were in the past. With improved environmental awareness we’ve cleaned up our collective act when it comes to waste and wastewater disposal.
Changing patterns of work have also meant that we just don’t have the heavy industrial processes that previously used iron, steel, lead, mercury, arsenic and other metals.
However, that doesn’t mean there is now no longer any metal contamination of our water supplies. It’s therefore important that where you suspect there may be a metal contamination issue that you test your water to make sure concentrations’ do not exceed the safe limits set by the Government.
Some of the main metals and other elements you might find in water, and which could potentially cause health problems if present at high enough concentrations include:
Drinking water metal analysis
The UK’s 2016 Water Supply Regulations set out maximum allowable limits for metals and heavy metals in drinking water.
If your water is supplied from a water utility company then they are obliged to meet these standards.
However, if you extract from a private water supply such as a well, borehole, spring or other water source, then it’s up to you to ensure you meet these standards.
The following limits on the maximum concentration levels of metals in drinking water are taken from the Water Supply Regulations 2016.
in drinking water
|Point of compliance|
|Aluminium (Al)||200 µg/l||Consumers’ taps|
|Antimony (Sb)||5.0 µg/l||Consumers’ taps|
|Arsenic (As)||10 µg/l||Consumers’ taps|
|Boron (B)||1.0 mg/l||Consumers’ taps|
|Cadmium (Cd)||5.0 µg/l||Consumers’ taps|
|Chromium (Cr)||50 µg/l||Consumers’ taps|
|Copper (Cu)||2.0 µg/l||Consumers’ taps|
|Iron (Fe)||200 µg/l||Consumers’ taps|
|Lead (Pb)||10 µg/l||Consumers’ taps|
|Manganese (Mn)||50 µg/l||Consumers’ taps|
|Mercury (Hg)||1.0 µg/l||Consumers’ taps|
|Nickel (Ni)||20 µg/l||Consumers’ taps|
|Selenium (Se)||10 µg/l||Consumers’ taps|
|Sodium (Na)||200 µg/l||Consumers’ taps|
Trade effluent & waste water metals analysis
If you intend to discharge trade effluent or industrial waste water in to a public sewer or watercourse such as a stream, river, lake or the sea then you will need to obtain specific consent from your local sewerage undertaker.
Your consent to discharge is likely to include strict limits on the quality of the effluent including its metal content. WTS can analyse your waste water and effluent streams for a range of common metals including the following:
- Other metals
Making sure drinking water is safe
There are a number of steps you can take to make sure that your drinking water is safe, especially when you’re relying on water from a private supply or natural source rather than taking it from one of the big water utilities.
The approach selected in treating your water before drinking will very much depend on what type of contamination problems exist or are suspected.
Testing water for metals, chemicals, microbiological and other contaminants is therefore important. The main methods used to treat water to make it suitable for drinking are:
Experts at testing water for metals, heavy metals & other contaminants
Contact WTS today to find out more about our laboratory water analysis services including testing water for metals, waste water and trade effluent analysis, chemical and microbiological testing and in-field sampling services.
With offices in London serving the South and South East England, Manchester (North West), Birmingham (Midlands), Bristol (South East England and Wales), Leeds (North and North East) and Glasgow (Scotland), supported by regional teams of specially trained technicians, in-field specialists and consultants we can offer professional, cost effective environmental support solutions across the whole of the UK and Ireland.
Contact us today for more information or for your FREE, no obligation quote.
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