Tern’s Benchmarks for Water Quality

Here at Tern Water, we care about water quality above all else. While terms like fluoride or TDS or lead contamination may be coming into vogue now, we’ve built ourselves upon a deep passion for understanding exactly what those terms mean. When we test water, we do it with a finely tuned set of guidelines that we use to make sure that everyone’s water, no matter where they may be, is up to a single unified set of standards. That means that our standards may differ a bit from those of other bodies, like the EPA, but that’s for a good reason.

We know that this can all seem like a lot, so we wanted to demystify it all a bit, and give you a little peak inside of how and why we came upon the benchmarks that we use to test your water.

Our Know Your Water tests look at your water through a total of seven different metrics to assess the state of your water. Those metrics are as follows:

  • Chromium-6
  • Lead
  • Hardness
  • Chlorine
  • Fluoride
  • pH Level
  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

Altogether, those seven metrics provide a comprehensive cross section that paints a picture of your water’s quality. These metrics fall into two camps. On the one hand, there are contaminants such as chromium-6, lead, chlorine, fluoride, and TDS; on the other hand metrics such as hardness and pH level look at the water on a more intrinsic level.

When looking at the contaminants, there are a number of guidelines that exist for consumption. The Environmental Protection Agency has one set of standards for some, while states dictate their own for others. Still more, the World Health Organization issues it’s own set of standards. This patchwork is nothing short of confusing and illogical.

Here’s one way to explain why: it’s not as if a human body in California can safely consume more chromium-6 than one in Pennsylvania. Yet the standards that exist in these two states are are not consistent.

That’s why we have developed our own set of benchmarks to test all water, regardless of where it comes from. We believe that all people are entitled to safe and healthy water, no matter where they are, and the first step to getting on that path is to fairly compare water from across the county and the world.

We choose our benchmarks based on multiple data sources to ensure that the ratings we give are fair and safe for everyone. We break these down into easy to understand ratings – “safe,” “cautious,” or ”risky” based on the range of the test results – so that people can better understand what can otherwise be an overwhelming set of numbers. Knowing your water’s TDS level is “safe” is simply more valuable than knowing that it sits at 154 PPM.

At Tern, as with all things, we focus on our customers’ experience when it comes to Know Your Water test results and their ability to take action. We welcome feedback and suggestions on how we can continue to improve.

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