Total Dissolved Solids in Monongahela River Drop Significantly Below State, Federal Limits
DEP to Continue Monitoring Levels, Taking Samples
Three weeks of laboratory data on water samples from the river found TDS levels below the 500 parts per million criteria established by the department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The latest results from
In comparison, lab results for water samples collected on
Unusually high TDS levels were first detected on
By November, high TDS levels were detected as far north as “The
DEP will continue to monitor the United States Geological Survey river gauges for conductivity, which is a far less expensive and time consuming alternative to lab analyses. If conductivity levels increase significantly, DEP may resume sampling.
In addition, DEP is working with water suppliers through the River Alert and Information Network to develop a regional water quality monitoring system.
While elevated levels of TDS do not represent a major human health risk, TDS can affect the taste and odor of drinking water. For that reason, secondary maximum contaminant levels of 500 parts per million were established for the commonwealth’s drinking water and waterways.
TDS is a measure of all elements dissolved in water and can include carbonates, chlorides, sulfates, nitrates, sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Sources of TDS can include abandoned mine drainage, stormwater runoff, waste water from gas well drilling and discharges from industrial or sewage treatment plants.
CONTACT: Helen Humphreys (412) 442-4183
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection