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Inorganic Water Tests

What are Inorganic Water Tests?

Inorganic water tests analyze your water for the presence of harmful substances such as heavy metals like lead, arsenic, and mercury, as well as minerals like calcium and magnesium. These tests are essential for identifying potential health hazards in your drinking water.

Well water is susceptible to contamination from naturally occurring minerals and human activities such as agriculture, industrial runoff, and improper waste disposal.

By identifying and addressing potential contaminants through inorganic water testing, you can take proactive steps to protect yourself, your family, and your community from the harmful effects of waterborne contaminants.

woman speaking to her female doctor

What are the Risks of Inorganic Compounds in Your Water?

Contaminants found in water can have serious health implications.

      • Lead, for instance, can lead to developmental issues in children, while arsenic exposure is associated with various cancers.
      • Heavy Metals: Lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic are examples of heavy metals that can contaminate water sources. Even at low concentrations, these metals pose serious health risks, including neurological damage, kidney problems, and developmental delays.
      • Minerals: Calcium, magnesium, and iron are common minerals found in water. While essential for health in moderate amounts, high levels of these minerals can affect water taste and cause scaling in pipes and appliances.
      • Inorganic Ions: Chloride, fluoride, sulfate, and other inorganic ions are also tested in water. While many of these ions are harmless in small quantities, elevated levels can lead to health concerns and affect the taste and quality of water.

By conducting inorganic water tests, you can detect these contaminants early and take steps to protect your family’s health.

About Our Testing

Inorganic water tests involve collecting a sample of your water and sending it to a certified laboratory for analysis. The laboratory will use specialized equipment to detect the presence and concentration of contaminants. Once the results are available, you’ll receive a detailed report outlining any findings and recommendations for treatment, if necessary.

Taking Action

Ready to take control of your water safety? Schedule an inorganic water test with U.S. Water today. Our experts will guide you through the process and help you interpret the results, so you can make informed decisions about your family’s health.


The following common inorganic compounds can be found in both city water and private water wells:

        • Antimony
        • Arsenic
        • Barium
        • Beryllium
        • Cadmium
        • Chloride
        • Chlorine
        • Chromium
        • Copper
        • Cyanide
        • Fluoride
        • Lead
        • Mercury
        • Nitrate
        • Nitrite
        • Nitrate + Nitrite
        • Selenium
        • Sulfate
        • Thallium
        • Total Phosphorus
        • Silica
blue gloved hand holding beaker; water droplet dripping from eyedropper

Common Inorganic Compounds in Drinking Water

ChlorideWhile chloride is not typically harmful at normal levels, individuals with specific health conditions, such as hypertension or cardiovascular issues, may need to monitor their salt intake. In addition, elevated chloride levels can contribute to corrosion in metal pipes and fixtures.
ChlorineUsed to destroy disease-producing microorganisms. Improves water quality with regards to ammonia, iron, manganese, sulfide, and organic substances. Too high of concentrations affect taste and odor.
FluorideBoth naturally occurring and added at controlled amounts.
WI State Standard for Drinking Water: 4 mg/L.
NitrateExcessive amounts in drinking water can lead to methemoglobinemia (blue baby syndrome) in infants.
WI State Standard for Drinking Water: 10 µg/L prevents methemoglobinemia from occurring.
Test annually or if the well will be used by a pregnant woman. *
NitriteIntermediate oxidation state of nitrogen and reduces to nitrate.
WI State Standard for Drinking Water: 1 mg/L.
Nitrate + NitriteNitrate is often caused by agriculture and sewage. It can cause health risks like gastrointestinal problems and “blue baby” syndrome.
SulfateWidely distributed in nature. In the presence of organic material, certain bacteria will become active.
Total PhosphorusWhile phosphorus isn’t directly harmful to human health in water, its presence can foster the growth of harmful microorganisms. Although it can be beneficial in some uses, high levels may pose risks.
SilicaWhile silica is not harmful to human health, high concentrations of dissolved silica can contribute to the formation of scale in water systems, such as pipes and appliances.


**Information obtained from theStandard Method for the Examination of Water and Wastewater22nd Edition. (2012). Washington: American Public Health Association

Regulatory Limits and Guidelines

Regulatory agencies set limits for inorganic compounds in drinking water to ensure its safety for consumption. Exceeding these limits can render water unsafe for drinking and other domestic uses. It’s essential to test water regularly and adhere to these guidelines to safeguard public health.

Importance of Certified Water Test Labs

Having water tested by acertified laboratoryis critical for accurate and reliable results. Certified labs follow standardized procedures and use state-of-the-art equipment to detect even trace amounts of contaminants. Results from certified labs are recognized by regulatory agencies, providing assurance of water safety.