Consumers across the country are becoming more and more aware of potential hazards that may be in their drinking water. While it is true that the United States has some of the safest drinking water on Earth, problems can arise. In truth, there are many situations in which homeowners should test their drinking water just to be safe. Here are some of those conditions.
If you live in a home that may be exposed to lead, you should test your water. This would include homes or structures that have lead pipes, brass fixtures, or plumbing joints that were sealed with lead solder.
Plumbing that contains lead is normally found in older homes and apartments but can be found in a few newer homes. It is important to understand that in this case the lead in the water is coming from within your home and is not coming from the water that is delivered to your home via the water company.
If your water has an odd or unpleasant odor or taste, you should test it. Clean, fresh water should have no odor to it and should not have any distinctive taste. There are a variety of things that can cause taste and odor problems with water, and the only way to get to the root cause is through testing.
If you find that your water is staining your sinks, toilets, tubs or staining your clothing when it is laundered, you should test the water. Again, there can be a variety of reasons for this and testing is the only way to find the true cause.
Another reason for testing your tap water occurs when you move into a new home. This can be especially important if your home is on the far end of the distribution line (i.e., a long way from the treatment plant). Homes that are on the end of the line, especially in rural areas, may find significant drops in both chlorine levels and pH levels.
If you get your drinking water from a private well, you will certainly want to monitor and test your water regularly. Private well water can become contaminated overnight under certain circumstances.
The same is true for homes or farms where the well is located close to the septic tank.
If you have recently installed a new well, it is imperative that the water is tested before you drink it. This is normally a part of the drilling process, but additional testing (up to six months) is also recommended.
Regardless of where the water comes from, if someone in the home is pregnant, the water should be tested and monitored periodically.
Water testing can be done with in-home testing kits or through certified labs. The latter is more expensive than the former but offers more accurate results as well as options for more complicated test sets.
If testing shows you have a problem, your next step should be to look into water filters or water filtration systems. Water filters and water filtration systems can resolve most, if not all, of your water, contaminate problems. Water filters are affordable and easy to install, and they provide your family with the protection they need at a fraction of what bottled water would cost.