Our body is two-thirds water, so it is the most important substance on the planet. All life as we know it requires water to live and thrive. Hopefully, you are drinking the right amount every day. The problem with today’s society is that our water has become contaminated. This is an issue that is somewhat being corrected as our awareness grows, but the damage has been done – damage that will take decades to repair. It’s important that we know exactly what we’re drinking.
That’s where testing comes into play. So what is the best way to test your home water quality?
Well the absolute best way is to call the professionals. They have the tools and experience to test water the right way.
But there are ways you can do it yourself. You must start by knowing what contaminants you are testing for. If you answer with the word “everything,” then you should probably find a professional to help you identify a direction.
Testing Your Own Water Supply
With that being said, here are some steps that you can take to test your own water supply. You can actually buy home water testing kits. They are usually strips that change color based on the contaminant that’s present. Just don’t put all of your trust in these kits since there are a lot of factors than can lead to inaccuracy. They are a tool, not the ultimate solution. Plus you have to get different tests to check for different contaminants. Home water testing kits are designed to flag a problem. They are a great preventative measure but you should always have your home water tested at least once per year, especially if you are using a well.
Harmful Contaminants that are Common
The quality of water is determined by a number of different factors. Here are some of the most common:
Nuisance Bacteria: This type of bacteria is not harmful to your health, but it creates water that tastes awful and smells really bad. It will leave behind iron and sulfur in the water.
Harmful Bacteria: You do not want this bacteria in your water. Fortunately , it’s quite rare but water can contain e. coli and coliform, both of which can put you in the hospital.
Iron: Iron will turn the water a light orange color and can stain your clothes when you wash them in it. It will also have a bitter taste.
Most areas will have their own guidelines for what is deemed acceptable for the water supply. You can also look at the EPA contaminant guidelines. Most local standards will fall below this level.
Water testing kits are relatively cheap and they are a decent addition to ensuring that your water is free of dangerous contaminants. But I still recommend that you have a professional test your water at least once per year. Never base the health of your family on test strips alone. Professionals understand water chemistry and have the experience to present you with the best treatment options.