Should I have my water tested?
If your home is on well water, then you can ensure the quality of your drinking water through routine testing. Maintaining records of water quality can be beneficial even for those who use municipal water. Regular testing of your drinking water is vital if you have infants or immunocompromised people in your household as these groups are more impacted by drinking water problems.
When should I test my water and for what?
If your home is on well water, it is recommended that coliform bacteria, nitrates, and pH be tested annually. General chemistry, including arsenic and uranium, should be tested every 4-5 years. Lead should be tested for at least once, particularly if there are young children in the household. Homes built before 1986 should test for lead every 2-3 years.
If my water is clear and smells clean, it’s safe to drink, right?
You cannot directly smell or taste unsafe bacteria or protozoa. Many metals in water are odorless, tasteless and colorless. These contaminants can only be detected using tests designed for that purpose. You should check your water quality regularly.
If my water is brown or smells bad, it must be unsafe, right?
Not always. Sometimes water can appear brown because of sediment in it but it is not unsafe. Another cause could be extra iron in the water, and although drinking isn’t recommended, it is still safe to use for showers. Without knowing the cause of the color or smell, it is impossible to say if the water is really safe. If you experience a change in your water, it should be tested before using.
How should a sample be collected?
We will supply sterile sample containers. Samples for coliform bacteria testing must be collected using sterile containers and under sterile conditions. It is best to remove any hoses and aerators from the faucet head. For metal testing, collect water after allowing water to sit in pipes for 6-8 hours. For other testing, allow water to run for 10-15 minutes before collecting. Fill containers with cold tap water. Samples should be kept cold and delivered to the lab within 24 hours of being filled. Please contact us before sending any samples.
If my water has bacteria in it, should I drink bottled water?
Some bacteria are completely harmless, but others can pose health hazards. Coliform bacteria is a group of bacteria used as an indicator organism for the sanitary quality of drinking water. The presence of coliform bacteria in your drinking water is an indication of a problem and you should obtain an alternative source of drinking water until the problem is solved.
How can I treat my water to make it safe again?
This greatly depends upon what problem your water is experiencing. In most cases, filtration systems can greatly improve water quality. There are different types of filters to remove bacteria, chemicals and larger particles or sediment. Distillation systems can help with solid contaminants. Water softeners are able to fix instances of hard water. Disinfectants can be used for pathogens. A water system contractor or water treatment expert can help you determine which method is right for you.