Author Topic: How to obtain a water report  (Read 1395 times)

Offline liquidbrewing

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How to obtain a water report
« on: November 29, 2011, 12:20:17 PM »
I was wondering how I would go about obtaining my local water report?  I'm in Panama City Beach, FL.

Justin
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Offline beersk

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Re: How to obtain a water report
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2011, 12:34:05 PM »
Check your city's website, they may have it posted there.  Otherwise you'd want to send a sample of your water to Ward Labs to get a report on your water.
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Offline euge

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Re: How to obtain a water report
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2011, 12:35:08 PM »
I was wondering how I would go about obtaining my local water report?  I'm in Panama City Beach, FL.



Search you local water utility website.
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Offline denny

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Re: How to obtain a water report
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2011, 12:39:36 PM »
Many utilities won't have the info you need for homebrewing.  In that case, www.wardlab.com is a great alternative.  Get test W-6 for about $16.50.
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Offline liquidbrewing

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Re: How to obtain a water report
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2011, 12:52:14 PM »
Just get the W-6 test done and not the Beer Test?
Justin
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Offline denny

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Re: How to obtain a water report
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2011, 12:55:11 PM »
Just get the W-6 test done and not the Beer Test?

Either one will be fine.  They didn't have the Beer test the last time I did it, so I wasn't aware of it.
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Offline liquidbrewing

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Re: How to obtain a water report
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2011, 12:58:07 PM »
It looks like the Beer Test adds Iron and Total Phosphorus to the test, and it's $10.00 more.
Justin
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: How to obtain a water report
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2011, 12:58:56 PM »
You might be able to get the information about homebrewing by emailing your water company. My local water company didn't have that information posted, but after a couple of emails, they were able to get the info to me. Won't work 100%, but an email is a whole lot cheaper than the test.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: How to obtain a water report
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2011, 02:50:55 PM »
Ward has rebranded the W-5 test as the 'Beer Test'.  As mentioned above, it adds a couple more parameters.  Unfortunately, neither of those extra results are very valuable.  

Phosphorus has no value to our brewing knowledge and since malt adds a huge proportion of additional phosphorus to the wort, the P concentration in the starting water is meaningless.  

The iron content is actually moderately discernable by a typical water drinker.  If the tap water has any metallic notes, its probably got a little too much iron or manganese in it and it may not make the best beer.  A lab test is not all that valuable when your palate can tell you what you need to know.  

Bottom line:  save $10 and just purchase the W-6 test.
  
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 06:13:29 AM by mabrungard »
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Offline The Professor

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Re: How to obtain a water report
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2011, 03:23:53 PM »
You might be able to get the information about homebrewing by emailing your water company. My local water company didn't have that information posted, but after a couple of emails, they were able to get the info to me. Won't work 100%, but an email is a whole lot cheaper than the test.

+1...try asking them, but don't be surprised if they don't have the information or don't want to take the trouble to get it for you.   I never worried too much about water chemistry in the past, but in the last two years the quality of our municipal water has changed rather dramatically, the result of more of it being brought in from sources outside our county. 
When I started inquiring, I got quite a runaround with the typical answers ranging from a very straightforward  'we don't have the information you need' to the rather puzzling "other than for safety issues and verification that contaminants do not exceed established maximums, we are not required to comply with your request".

The Ward Labs route is probably your best solution. 
If you are very into fine tuning,  it might even be a good idea to have it done twice in one year, since the local water supplies do vary seasonally.
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Offline liquidbrewing

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Re: How to obtain a water report
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2011, 09:37:04 PM »
Looks like I'm going with the W-6.  Thanks all!
Justin
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Offline Kit B

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Re: How to obtain a water report
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2011, 08:25:01 AM »
Definitely call your local utilities manager.
I have found that they are usually very proud of the work that they do & want to be able to share that information.
Mine delivers the report to my door, personally.
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Offline DW

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Re: How to obtain a water report
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2011, 08:34:44 AM »
I've been having similar questions regarding water reports:  I went to the Fort Worth, Tx City's website and viewed the annual water report.  They have not posted 2010 or 2011 yet.  They have posted 2009 and earlier.  So, I have a couple of questions: Can you assume that the water is relatively consistent from year to year?  Second, the water report lists ranges: Bicarb 95-117, Mg: 3-10, Ca: 139-156, Alkalinity as CaCO3: 95-119, Hardness as CaCO3: 90-169.  Can you adequately adjust your water based on these ranges? 

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: How to obtain a water report
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2011, 11:19:26 AM »
No, you can't assume the water is consistent, but I think you're lucky your water service reports those numbers at all.  Mine doesn't.  I would probably send a sample to Ward labs either way.  You can adjust the numbers based on what they gave you, but I think I would prefer a lab answer.
Tom Schmidlin