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learn more about your drinking water test results

Check out the videos below or click on each contaminant in our Water Quality Report Guide to learn more about your findings.

THE Essential WATER LAB TEST KIT

You've taken an important step in protecting you and your family with our Essential Water Lab Test Kit. Now it's time to interpret your results and get you on your way to fresher, cleaner, better-tasting water.

* This analysis should not be taken as professional health advice.

Essential Water Lab Test Kit Instructions (English)

Essential Water Lab Test Kit Instructions (Spanish)

Learn More About Water Testing

Water Quality Report Guide

  •  

Bacteria

What are bacteria?

Bacteria are microscopic single-celled organisms that are vital to our ecosystems.

Your kit tests for coliform and E. coli which normally live in the digestive tract and feces of humans and animals. Sewage overflows, water main breaks, and other environmental factors can cause bacterial contamination in drinking water.

Coliform bacteria are not typically harmful, but their presence can be indication of something more dangerous.

E. coli is a species of coliform bacteria that can cause serious illness if ingested.

How will I know if my water is unsafe?
  • No visible sign
  • No distinct taste
  • No distinct odor

Only a test can confirm contamination.

Your public water system is required to notify you if your drinking water is unsafe, but privately-owned, individual water supply safety rests in the hands of its owner.

What are the potential health risks?

E. coli outbreaks in water systems are rare, but exposure can have adverse health effects.

  • vomiting
  • stomach issues
  • hepatitis
  • fever
  • gastrointestinal issues
What should I do if my test reveals unsafe levels?

It is highly recommended that you consult a Culligan Water Expert if your test registers positive for bacteria. It is also recommended to seek an alternative water source for drinking and cooking until level and type of bacteria has been confirmed by a secondary test. Our products are certified to NSF standards. NSF International is an independent not-for-profit organization that works to protect and improve global human health. They rigorously test products, require annual retesting, and perform unannounced plant inspections of filtration manufacturers.

Copper

What is copper?

Copper is an essential nutrient but toxic at high levels. It's used in coins, electrical wiring, and water pipes. Corrosion of copper plumbing materials can cause water contamination and pinhole leaks in pipes.

How will I know if my water is unsafe?
  • Blue-green stains on fixtures
  • Bitter or metallic taste
  • No distinct odor

Only a test can confirm contamination.

What are the potential health risks?

Copper poisoning from water is rare, but long-term exposure or consumption at high levels can have adverse health effects.

  • vomiting
  • stomach issues
  • liver disease
  • fever
  • kidney disease
What should I do if my test reveals unsafe levels?

If copper is detected in your water, there are steps you can take to limit exposure. Schedule a complimentary in-home consultation with your local Culligan Water Expert. Together you can discuss your water conditions and get recommendations for treatment, such as a neutralizing filter and reverse osmosis system. Our products are certified to NSF standards. NSF International is an independent not-for-profit organization that works to protect and improve global human health. They rigorously test products, require annual retesting, and perform unannounced plant inspections of filtration manufacturers.

Iron

What is iron?

Iron occurs naturally throughout the environment and is essential for the transport of oxygen in the body. Iron is common in drinking water and can enter through natural sources or through rusting water fixtures and pipes.

How will I know if my water has high levels of iron?
  • Discolored water, reddish brown stains on water fixtures and clothing
  • Metallic taste
  • Unpleasant odor
What are the potential health risks?

Ingesting water with iron is not directly associated with health problems, however iron sediment can harbor bacteria which may cause adverse health effects.

  • Stomach issues
  • Fatigue
What if my test reveals a level above 0.3 ppm?

Iron in drinking water can do more harm to your home than your health. Prevent costly damages and schedule a complimentary in-home test with your local Culligan Water Expert. Together you can discuss your water conditions and get recommendations for treatment.

Nitrite / Nitrate

What are nitrites/nitrates?

Nitrates/nitrites are nitrogen-oxygen compounds essential for plant growth. Excess accumulations of nitrates/nitrites can enter ground water through fertilizer, animal waste, and septic tank leakage, and cause contamination.

How will I know if my water is unsafe?
  • No visible sign
  • No distinct taste
  • No distinct odor

Only a test can confirm contamination.

What are the potential health risks?

Increased levels of nitrates/nitrites can cause adverse health effects, especially for pregnant women and infants.

  • Blue baby syndrome in infants
  • Respiratory issues
What should I do if my test reveals unsafe levels?

If nitrates or nitrites are detected in your water, use bottled water for drinking and cooking and schedule a lab test with your local Culligan Water Expert. Together you can discuss your water conditions and get recommendations for treatment. Our products are certified to NSF standards. NSF International is an independent not-for-profit organization that works to protect and improve global human health. They rigorously test products, require annual retesting, and perform unannounced plant inspections of filtration manufacturers.

pH

What is pH?

pH measures how acidic or alkaline your water is on a scale of 0 to 14. Water with a pH below 6.5 is considered acidic and may contain elevated levels of copper and lead. Water with a pH above 7.5 is considered alkaline and generally associated with an abundance of calcium and/or magnesium.

How will I know if my water is acidic or alkaline?
  • Below 7pH - laundry stains, blue-green stains on fixtures
    Above 7pH - deposits on dishes and pipes/fixtures
  • Below 7pH - metallic or sour taste
    Above 7pH - deposits on dishes and pipes/fixtures
  • Below 7pH - metallic odor
    Above 7pH - no distinct odor

A pH below 6.5 may indicate pipe corrosion. A pH above 8.5 may indicate hard water which can decrease the efficiency of water heaters. This can increase detergent and hot water use, raising costs for you and your family.

What are the potential health risks?

Low pH water may indicate an abundance of metal ions which can cause adverse health effects.

  • Stomach ache
  • Nervous system problems
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
What should I do if my test reveals acidic or alkaline pH levels?

If your pH level is less than ideal, schedule a complimentary in-home test with your local Culligan Water Expert. Together you can discuss your water conditions and get recommendations for treatment.

Hardness

What is hardness?

Hardness refers to the concentration of dissolved calcium and magnesium in your water. It varies depending on geographic location and water source.

How will I know if my water is hard?
  • Deposits on dishes, build-up in pipes/appliances, dull hair, stiff laundry, dry skin
  • Bitter taste
  • Unpleasant odor

Hard water can be harmful to your pipes and decrease the efficiency of water heaters. This can increase detergent and hot water use, raising costs for you and your family.

What are the potential health risks?

Hardness doesn't have known health effects. In fact, water containing calcium and magnesium can help you reach the average daily requirements for these minerals. However, over time hard water can cause build-up of stains and calcium and can lead to shortened longevity of faucets and appliances.

What if my test result reveals I have hard water or above the recommended level?

Hard water can cause wear and tear on appliances which leads to more frequent repairs. It can also lead to dry skin an other ailments. If you're experiencing buildup on fixtures and poor soap and detergent performance, schedule a complimentary in-home test with your local Culligan Water Expert. Together you can discuss your water conditions and get recommendations for treatment.

Free Chlorine

What is Free Chlorine?

Free Chlorine is a highly efficient disinfectant. It's used as an additive in water systems to kill harmful organisms and prevent the transmission of disease. High levels of chlorine can produce toxins in drinking water that are hazardous to our health.

How will I know if my water is unsafe?
  • Hair damage, skin irritation, blue-green stains on fixtures
  • Chlorine taste
  • Unpleasant odor

Only a test can confirm contamination.

What are the potential health risks?

High levels of chlorine in drinking water can lead to an increased presence of THM toxins which have been known to cause adverse health effects.

  • Asthma
  • Heart desease
  • Bladder cancer
What should I do if my test reveals unsafe levels?

If free chlorine is detected in your water, there are steps you can take to limit exposure. Schedule a complimentary in-home test with your local Culligan Water Expert. Together you can discuss your water conditions and get recommendations for treatment, such as a carbon filter or cartridge. Our solutions are certified to NSF standards. NSF International is an independent not-for-profit organization that works to protect and improve global human health. They rigorously test products, require annual retesting, and perform unannounced plant inspections of filtration manufacturers.

Lead

What is lead?

Lead is a naturally occurring metal that's used in a variety of products including paint, batteries, and pipes. Lead can enter your drinking water through plumbing fixtures and old lead pipes or faucets, which is more common in homes built before 1986.

How will I know if my water is unsafe?
  • No visible sign
  • No distinct taste
  • No distinct odor

Only a test can confirm contamination.

The EPA requires all community water systems to prepare an annual water quality report. You can obtain a copy of the latest report by contacting your water utility provider. If your water comes from a private water supply, check with your health department for more information.

What are the potential health risks?

Lead exposure can affect almost every organ and system in the body. Young children, infants, and pregnant women are most susceptible to the effects of lead poisoning.

  • Cardiovascular effects
  • Reproductive problems
  • Decreased kidney function
  • Nervous system damage
  • Impaired hearing
What should I do if my test reveals unsafe levels?

The EPA uses 15 ppb as a benchmark for determining when to take corrective actions, but they also state that no level of lead in water is safe and have a goal to lower their threshold to none detected. Use bottled water for drinking and cooking, and schedule a lab test with your local Culligan Water Expert. Together you can discuss your water conditions and get recommendations for treatment. Our solutions are certified to NSF standards. NSF International is an independent not-for-profit organization that works to protect and improve global human health. They rigorously test products, require annual retesting, and perform unannounced plant inspections of filtration manufacturers.

Pesticides

What are pesticides?

Pesticides are chemical compounds used to control weeds, insects, rodents, bacteria, and mold. Soil, rainfall, and improper dumping or application of pesticides can carry them into a water system, causing contamination.

How will I know if my water is unsafe?
  • No visible sign
  • No distinct taste
  • Chemical odor

If you live in an area that is heavily farmed and frequently sprayed with pesticides you are at greater risk but only a test can confirm contamination.

What are the potential health risks?

Exposure to pesticides can cause a wide range of adverse health effects because there are many different types of pesticides with varying chemical compositions. How long and how often you're exposed also plays a role in the level of toxicity.

What should I do if my test reveals unsafe levels?

If pesticides are detected in your water - even if they're below the EPA's maximum contaminant level, you should schedule a complimentary in-home consultation with your local Culligan Water Expert. Together you can discuss your water conditions and get recommendations for treatment. Our products are certified to NSF standards. NSF International is an independent not-for-profit organization that works to protect and improve global human health. They rigorously test products, require annual retesting, and perform unannounced plant inspections of filtration manufacturers.

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

What is TDS?

TDS stands for Total Dissolved Solids. It is the sum of all minerals, metals, and salts dissolved in your drinking water.

How will I know if my water has a high TDS level?
  • Possible corrosion and staining on fixtures
  • Salty, bitter, or metallic taste
  • Unpleasent odor
What are the potential health risks?

TDS is a general characteristic of water and doesn't have any known health effects. Its value is the sum of a variety of particles, some which have adverse health effects when ingested at high levels.

What should I do if my water has a high TDS level?

Besides the off-putting appearance, high levels of TDS can create problems around the house and potentially impact your health. Schedule a complimentary in-home test with your local Culligan Water Expert. Together you can discuss your water conditions and get recommendations for treatment. Our products are certified to NSF standards. NSF International is an independent not-for-profit organization that works to protect and improve global human health. They rigorously test products, require annual retesting, and perform unannounced plant inspections of filtration manufacturers.

Comprehensive Water Lab Test Kit

Certified laboratory testing is an invaluable tool for determining the quality of your water. If you have more serious concerns about the safety of your water, Culligan’s Comprehensive Water Lab Test Kit is our most advanced and detailed. It includes all the in-home testing strips from the Essential Water Lab Test Kit, plus a high-quality analysis on 25 additional contaminants, performed in our NELAP* Certified Analytical Laboratory.

*National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program

how to use the water sample bottle

  • Step 1Let water run for 3-5 minutes

  • Step 2Rinse sample bottle twice (including the cap) with water.

  • Step 3Fill sample bottle to the top and screw cap on tightly

  • Step 4Fill in the sample request document. Partial or incomplete information may result in sample rejection.

  • Step 5Place the water sample bottle and the completed Lab Test Request Form in the Comprehensive Water Lab Test Kit box.

  • Step 6Be sure to tape the box shut and place the provided pre-paid mailing label on the box (over the Culligan Water logo). Keep a copy of the tracking number for your records.

 

Comprehensive Water Lab Test Kit Instructions (English)

Comprehensive Water Lab Test Kit Instructions (Spanish)

Your Water Test Results

In addition to your in-home tests, you will receive a detailed water analysis within 3-5 business days from the date we receive your sample on the following properties:

  • Aluminum
  • Arsenic
  • Barium
  • Calcium
  • Chloride
  • Chlorine
  • Color
  • Copper
  • Fluoride
  • Hardness
  • Iron
  • Lead
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Nitrate/Nitrite
  • pH
  • Potassium
  • Silica
  • Sodium
  • Strontium
  • Sulfate
  • Tannins
  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
  • Turbidity
  • Zinc
HEY CULLIGAN!

WE CAN TREAT ALMOST ANY WATER ISSUE

We provide filtration and softening treatments for all needs and budgets. Complete our contact form, and a local Culligan Water Expert will reach out to discuss your test results and recommend a solution for you and your home.
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For more information on water protection and the Safe Drinking Water Act visit https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/safe-drinking-water-information

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If you are dissatisfied with your Culligan product for any reason within 30 days of your purchase, Culligan will remove the product and refund the purchase price.

 
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