The Importance of Testing the Water at Your Home
Water is the biggest part of every living things survival. The human body is over 60 percent water. Sadly, when we drink water, we are also taking in anything harmful that has made its way into the body via the water. Your local area does monitor the quality of the water before it heads into the pipe system; however, there may be contaminants gained along the way to your home, the bacteria counts may rise, or the chlorine level may be higher than normal. Additionally, if you get your water from a well you’re even at a higher risk. The troubling thing is that you cannot see most issues with water, and may not know about the issue until someone gets sick, or until you get your water tested. Furthermore, Even when water does not pose a health risk, a high concentration of chemicals, minerals and other foreign elements can cause plumbing damage, leave dishes and clothes less than clean and affect the quality of the water you use for drinking, cooking and bathing.
Home testing your water can be a great option to see if you have good drinking water for you and your family. No matter if you are drawing water from the town or city water supply, or you use your own private well, both sources can have contaminants that you may not be able to spot with the naked eye. There are a lot of tests on the market that you can do at home by yourself, but they only tell you so much about your water. Most of the tests on the market use treated reactant slips to detect any potential contaminants; however, they are not very precise and can have false results. These at home tests should be used to alert you to any high levels of contaminants, but not to understand the true quality of your water.
Using a Lab
Using a lab is the best way of knowing what is in your water. Labs are better equipped to test and provide accurate water test results. By sending your water off to an independent lab you can receive a more complete and full analysis of the water in your home. They are able to detect any issue with the water you use around your house, and then provide you the results so that you will be more knowledgeable about how to address most issues. Additionally, some local plumbing companies can help provide solutions to correct any issues you may have.
Frequency of Testing
How often you should test your water will depend on what type of water supply you are using and if you suspect contamination. It is good practice to test your water annually for any contamination. Additionally, If you or a your family experience a recurrent, unexplained gastrointestinal illness, or nausea, then have the water tested as soon as possible as something in the water may be causing these issues. Even though the public water supplies are tested annually and provide the results, these test are done at the water treatment plant. By getting a test done from the water supply at your home you can have a better understanding of what might have gotten into the water after it flows through the water mains and your home plumbing. For a private water supply like a spring or well system the responsibility of testing is generally falls on the home owner.
Bacteria is one of the most harmful things that can contaminate your drinking water. E.coli, along with other Coliforms can be found in water, and the bacteria can breed in your water supply, which can make you or your family very sick. There are also other types of bacteria that may be threatening on their own, but the chemical composition of your water may also multiple the issues.If your water has a tint of color, you may have an excessive percentage of metal is your water. If the water has a yellow, orange, or red hue; then your water has higher levels of iron than normal. High levels of manganese creates a purple or dark grey colored water.
High levels of metal in the water also creates a bitter taste, and may stain appliances, fixture, or linens.Unpleasant smells like rotten eggs coming from your water is caused by sulphur compounds like hydrogen sulphide. Hydrogen sulphide does not normally pose a direct threat to your health, but it will make your water unpalatable. Most sulphur compounds are produced through geological action, and are created by bacteria. They can also be introduced to the water supply by an artificial containment.
You may have “hard” water if there is a high level of calcium carbonate or another mineral salt. Hard water may have a disagreeable taste. Having hard water also affects the process of washing laundry, bathing, and other types of cleaning that use water. Hard water is one of the easier water issues to fix. To fix hard water you can use a water softener.
There can be multiple elements in your water that may be the cause of significant health issues, even in a tiny amount. There can be arsenic, lead or mercury in your drinking water. These elements can be easily absorbed in your body, and may cause long-term effects like neurotoxicity. Advanced lab testing may be needed to detect any trace elements like lead, arsenic, or mercury in your water, and to gauge the bio-availability of any contaminants. Bio-availability is how easy or difficult the trace element are to absorb by living tissue, and is used to calculate the risk of the trace elements found in your water supply.
If you are worried about what is in your water, you should have your water tested. Having your water tested can pinpoint what is in your water, and how to fix the issue. You can use an at home testing kit, to get a basic idea on how your water quality is overall, and an idea of what is in the water, yet a lab will give you the most accurate information. Ultimately, water filtration at the home will correct most problems. Water filter units remove harmful bacteria, metals, sulphur compounds, mineral salts, or trace elements from your water. Removing these contaminants will not only increase the life of your plumbing and appliances, but can lower the risk of health issues, and improve your water quality.