Tern's Benchmarks for Water Quality

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

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.

Past Posts

  • Is Your Water Bottle a Status Symbol?

    Thursday, February 14, 2019

  • Consumer Electronics Show Update

    Tuesday, January 22, 2019

  • #Waterroundup for December 5th, 2018

    Wednesday, December 5, 2018

  • #Waterroundup for November 28th, 2018

    Wednesday, November 28, 2018

  • #Waterroundup for November 21st, 2018

    Wednesday, November 21, 2018

  • Water Contamination: The Lead Source

    Tuesday, November 20, 2018

  • #Waterroundup for November 14th, 2018

    Wednesday, November 14, 2018

  • Wildfires, Water and the West

    Monday, November 12, 2018

  • #Waterroundup for November 8th, 2018

    Thursday, November 8, 2018

  • Plastic Bottles vs. The Smart Faucet

    Thursday, November 8, 2018

  • #Waterroundup for October 31st, 2018

    Wednesday, October 31, 2018

  • Newark Water Crisis

    Wednesday, October 31, 2018

  • Drink Water to Help You Lose Weight

    Tuesday, September 18, 2018

  • Official Tern Water Press Release: 5% Healthy Water Initiative

    Monday, July 23, 2018

  • Water Main Breaks and Floods Center City Philadelphia

    Monday, July 23, 2018

  • Scott Mazo at Healthy Philly

    Friday, July 20, 2018

  • Philly Water Startup can help Elon Musk bring healthy Water to Flint

    Wednesday, July 11, 2018

  • #waterroundup for July 6, 2018

    Friday, July 6, 2018

  • The Product Development Cycle of the Smart Faucet: Test, Optimize, and Test Some More

    Friday, July 6, 2018

  • #waterroundup for June 29th, 2018

    Friday, June 29, 2018

  • Tern's Work for Healthy Water Never Stops

    Friday, June 29, 2018

  • Tern's Benchmarks for Water Quality

    Wednesday, June 27, 2018

  • Spotlight on Infrastructure: California

    Monday, June 25, 2018

  • #waterroundup for June 22nd, 2018

    Saturday, June 23, 2018

  • Tern Visits the Advanced Manufacturing Show in New York

    Friday, June 22, 2018

  • From our Friends at PiperWai: Activated Charcoal, What Is It and What Does It Do?

    Tuesday, June 19, 2018

  • Why I Believe in Water for Good Health

    Monday, June 18, 2018

  • #waterroundup for June 15th, 2018

    Friday, June 15, 2018

  • The Growing Smart Home Market

    Wednesday, June 13, 2018

  • Spotlight on Infrastructure: Miami

    Monday, June 11, 2018

  • #waterroundup for June 8th, 2018

    Friday, June 8, 2018

  • It Happened in Hinkley

    Wednesday, June 6, 2018

  • Know Your Contaminant: Chromium-6

    Monday, June 4, 2018

  • #waterroundup for June 1st, 2018

    Friday, June 1, 2018

  • What's the Deal with Raw Water?

    Wednesday, May 30, 2018

  • #waterroundup for May 25th, 2018

    Friday, May 25, 2018

  • Know Your Contaminant: Lead

    Thursday, May 24, 2018

  • On the EPA and the National Leadership Summit

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018

  • #waterroundup for May 18th, 2018

    Friday, May 18, 2018

  • Spotlight on Water Infrastructure: New York City

    Wednesday, May 16, 2018

  • The waterroundup for Friday, May 11

    Friday, May 11, 2018

  • The waterroundup for Friday, April 20

    Friday, April 20, 2018

  • How water data can help entire communities live healthier lives

    Thursday, April 5, 2018

  • A Conversation with the Water Department

    Wednesday, March 28, 2018

  • Health Benefits of Water, In Honor of World Water Day

    Wednesday, March 21, 2018

  • Healthy Water at the "Point of Use"

    Tuesday, March 13, 2018

  • How to Make Sure Water From Our Kitchen is Safe to Drink

    Thursday, March 8, 2018

  • Lack of Water Awareness is a Growing Problem, and We’re Fixing That

    Monday, February 26, 2018

  • Tern Water reply to statements made by the Philadelphia Water Department

    Wednesday, February 14, 2018

  • Cape Cod, You Can Now Test Your Water Quality!

    Thursday, December 7, 2017

  • PA, Get Your Water Turbidity Tested!

    Tuesday, November 21, 2017

  • Tern Launches Know Your Water

    Thursday, October 5, 2017

  • Alexandria’s Flood

    Tuesday, July 18, 2017

  • Tern Water Announces Partnership with Cross Properties.

    Tuesday, July 18, 2017

  • There’s Something in the Water: The Betrayal of a Municipal Water System

    Tuesday, July 18, 2017

  • Water for the Modern Age

    Tuesday, November 29, 2016

  • Background Information

    Friday, January 1, 2016

  • Tern Standards, Accuracy, and References

    Friday, January 1, 2016