Getting uncontaminated drinking water at home is one of the most essential basic needs of our civilization. In fact, without clean water in our homes, we could not achieve the level of civilization we have realized.
Most of the water we use in our homes comes from an external source such as the local municipality water treatment facility. Even when we are generating our own water, it is very difficult to find out if the water is safe particularly for drinking.
There are several ways you can go about testing your water to ensure it is safe for human consumption and usage. The following are some options you can take:
Test it Yourself
One easy way to test your water is to do it yourself. Changes in the odor or taste of your water is not enough testing for safety.
Luckily, there are home water testing kits that are relatively easy to use and can be purchased at your local store or online. The tests you can conduct with the water testing kit will depend on the type. You have a wide variety of top selections as far as water testing kits are concerned. There are great osmosis systems out there that can help you test your water safety.
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There are three main types of self-test kits:
You can utilize single-use test strips to test the concentration of a certain chemical in your water supply. You simply have to dip the strip into your water supply and it will change color based on the amount of the chemical in your water.
Color Disk Kits
If you want to test for more than one chemical, then color disk kits are the way to go. Using them involves dropping powder or liquid into the water and viewing the chemical contamination on the colored disk.
Handheld Digital Instruments
Digital instruments offer more precision and variety in testing than the two methods above. However, they are more delicate and expensive.
They are great tools for constant monitoring of your water supply.
Home water testing kits can help you test for chemicals like iron, chlorine, lead, nitrates and fluoride among others. They can also help you check for pesticides and bacteria.
The more a water testing kit can check for, the more expensive it will be. However, you should not get a subpar testing kit to save money or you will be putting your entire family at risk.
You should test your water safety by yourself at least once every year.
Check with your Water Supplier
If your water supplier is a municipal utility or city treatment plan, you are entitled to a water report every time you get a bill or whenever you ask for such a report.
Every water agency is required to provide the water report with the bill by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If they fail to do so, you can report it to the EPA.
The report will outline all the elements contained in the water with which the agency supplies you. Granted, the agency can lie but with such a reputable regulatory authority, you have a good chance of receiving the right report.
You can then evaluate the report to see if you like the chemicals included in the water. They may include some chemicals with serious health repercussions for you and your family.
Use a State Certified Laboratory
You can get a sample of your home water and send it to a lab for analysis if you do not trust your water supplier’s report. You can also just do it to get a second opinion about your water supply.
You will probably find a qualified water testing lab in your local town. You can check for state-certified labs near you on the EPA website.
If you choose a lab online, they can send you a water sampling kit from the laboratory with instructions as to how to conduct the sampling. The sample will then be collected by a carrier and you can receive the results of the lab test via email or through the mail.
As far as a comprehensive check for your water safety goes, a lab evaluation is the way to go. They will check your water for many more contaminants than a home water testing kit possibly would.
You can send multiple samples of water to the lab if you want to check multiple water sources, for example, your well water, rainwater and tap water.
The results of a water contamination test from a lab will influence the decision of the water filter you acquire to purify the water.