Can anyone tell me the concentration of silver in uncontaminated water ways, or treated tap water in the united kingdom? sources would be desirable too

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I would recommend a friendly letter to bgs.ac.uk - They might have a dataset. Otherwise try to ask local water management companies. It would help the question if you could include what you want to do with the data. $\endgroup$ – tobias47n9e Apr 29 '14 at 16:36
  • $\begingroup$ They do, see: bgs.ac.uk/gbase/geochemicalMaps.html $\endgroup$ – winwaed Apr 30 '14 at 13:21

Monitoring results from UK groundwaters 1996-2007, Silver:

Sites 2929

Samples 19420

Min <0.04 µg/l

Max 79.6 µg/l

Average 0.457 µg/l

Source - Defra

Routine monitoring for trace elements in drinking water is only conducted for the elements specified in the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations. Specified elements include antimony, arsenic, boron, cadmium, chloride, chromium, copper, fluoride, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, selenium and sodium. Monitoring for other elements will only normally be conducted in response to specific identified risk. Recently DWI has funded investigations of uranium1 and molybdenum2 in drinking water in response to recent developments in WHO guideline values. Both these studies showed a good level of compliance should the WHO guideline value be adopted as a standard.


Water companies also conduct raw water monitoring and these results are reported to Drinking Water Inspectorate. Preliminary analysis suggests most of the raw water monitoring relates to elements already covered by the regulations but a few companies monitor for additional elements in raw water. A summary of the additional elements and (number of companies monitoring). Silver (4).

Source - Defra 2

Average silver concentrations in natural waters are 0.2-0.3 µg/litre. Silver levels in drinking-water in the USA that had not been treated with silver for disinfection purposes varied between "non-detectable" and 5 µg/litre. In a survey of Canadian tapwater, only 0.1% of the samples contained more than 1-5 µg of silver per litre. Water treated with silver may have levels of 50 µg/litre or higher; most of the silver will be present as nondissociated silver chloride.

Source - WHO

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The minimum and maximum are probably an effect of lithologies that the water was in contact with. Would be interesting to see those measurements on a map. The average could be somewhat misleading depending on the area of interest. The question should still outline this. $\endgroup$ – tobias47n9e Apr 29 '14 at 18:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The BGS did have a program of geochemical mapping. The basic atlas information and purchase links for the maps are here: bgs.ac.uk/gbase/geochemicalMaps.html The element sampling included silver (Ag). $\endgroup$ – winwaed Apr 30 '14 at 13:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.