Our water quality charts contain terms and abbreviations you might not be familiar with. To help you better understand these terms, we’ve provided the following definitions:
AL – Action Level – the concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.
MCL – Maximum Contaminant Level – the “Maximum Allowed” (MCL) is the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology.
MCLG – Maximum Contaminant Level Goal – the “Goal” (MCLG) is the level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.
MRDL – The highest level of disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that the addition of a disinfectant is necessary for the control of microbial contaminants.
MRDLG – The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contamination.
Million Fibers per Liter (MFL) – million fibers per liter is a measure of the presence of asbestos fibers that are longer than 10 micrometers.
Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU) – nephelometric turbidity unit is a measure of the clarity of water. Turbidity in excess of 5 NTU is just noticeable to the average person.
Non-Detects (ND) – laboratory analysis indicates that the constituent is not detected at the level of measurement.
Parts per million (ppm) or Milligrams per liter (mg/l) – one part per million corresponds to one minute in two years or a single penny in $10,000.
Parts per billion (ppb) or Micrograms per liter – one part per billion corresponds to one minute in 2,000 years, or a single penny in $10,000,000.
Parts per trillion (ppt) or Nanograms per liter (nanograms/l) – one part per trillion corresponds to one minute in 2,000,000 years, or a single penny in $10,000,000,000.
Parts per quadrillion (ppq) or Picograms per liter (picograms/l) – one part per quadrillion corresponds to one minute in 2,000,000,000 years or one penny in $10,000,000,000,000.
Picocuries per liter (pCi/L) – picocuries per liter is a measure of the radioactivity in water.
TT – Treatment Technique – a treatment technique is a required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.