We all need a clean source of drinking water to stay healthy, but there are other requirements to consider. When you stop and think about water usage in your home, it is actually used for a wide variety of tasks. The composition of our water can adversely affect our health, and it can also damage appliances that use water. Carrying out a water test can establish what kinds of contaminants are present, how hard the water is and what we can do to improve the quality of our water supply.
Unwanted Extras in Your Water Supply
Many of the contaminants in some water supplies are man made, such as agricultural runoff, industrial waste, and chemical pollution. There are also naturally occurring pollutants that can also reduce the quality of water with bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, organic and inorganic matter being the most prevalent. Many of these unwanted extras pose little danger to health in such small diluted quantities, and some people only experience a loss of quality in the taste, appearance, and odor of their water. Other contaminants can present health risks or cause other problems related to plumbing fixtures and domestic appliances. Some contaminants are easy to identify, but many are undetectable with our senses. Carrying out a water test is the only definitive way to get an accurate read on any contaminants that are present in your water supply.
The EPA has standards to protect the quality of the public drinking water supply. It’s important to understand that these rules don’t apply to private wells and the owner must be responsible for their own quality of water in this case. Regular water testing on private wells each year for microorganisms and every two or three years for other contaminants is recommended by the EPA. If there has been a recent event such as an earthquake or flooding that has disturbed the land in your area a further water test should be carried out as soon as practicable. If the well needs any repairs or replacements, a water test should be carried out when the work is completed.
If you have a supply of municipal public water your supplier is required by federal law to carry out regular water testing. The results must be published, and you can find them on the EPA website. If you experience a loss in water quality, it could be a problem with the lines on your property. In this case, you may want to carry out a water test to help you make an informed decision on how to fix the problem.
Conducting a Water Test
There are two ways to carrying out a water test, the first option is to use a home testing kit and the second method is to use a certified laboratory. A home kit is cheaper, but you will get more accurate results with a laboratory test, although it will take longer to get the final results.
If you are concerned that your water quality is not as good as it could be, talk to you local water treatment specialist. They can carry out a water test for you and advise you on how to best treat your water to improve the quality. There are many water softeners/water conditioners and filtration systems available to correct your particular water problem. Always ensure that you choose a water professional who is fully WQA certified, this will ensure that they meet and even exceed water industry standards.
About The Author, Terry Reeh, EcoWater Systems of Nebraska:
With more than 25 years experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Terry is a WQA (Water Quality Association) certified water specialist, LEVEL 3, as well as a WQA certified sales representative. Terry currently sits on EcoWater Systems (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) national Peers committee, as a water treatment expert advising other water professionals with less experience on best trade and technology practices. EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state.