Think back to the last time you checked your home’s water supply. When was it a year ago? A decade ago?

You might not have ever checked it. If that’s the case, you’re not alone. Most people don’t ever consider checking. They trust that their local utility company is delivering healthy water to them. You might have taken the extra step of buying a filter pitcher like so many people tend to do.

This really didn’t start to become an issue people paid attention to until the whole incident in Flint, Michigan. Those headlines really started to draw the public’s attention to a very real issue. What happens if their water becomes contaminated? How much will they drink before they even know it’s dangerous?

Fortunately, testing water does not need to be super complicated. It’s not even expensive, but timing is everything.

When is the best time to test your home water supply?

Here are some of the best times to test your home water supply.

waterWhen you are expecting a new baby. The EPA actually recommends this step. Have your water tested for nitrate at the very least during the early months of pregnancy. Then it should be tested again before the baby is brought home from the hospital. It should also be tested using strips after rain for the first six months of the infant’s life. Again, these are all EPA guidelines.

When water has a noticeable change in color or taste. You should test for sulfate, chloride and iron if the water starts to look or taste weird. This test should also be carried out every three years.

After any plumbing work. When your home’s plumbing is repaired or replaced, then you should test your water. Also, if your home is renovated where pipes might be involved, then test the water in that case too.

When there is a local chemical or fuel leak. When this happens, you should seek professional help since home testing kits are not going to pick up on the potential dangers. They are always going to be unique circumstances so you need to make sure you are getting the right test done.

If there is an intestinal illness spreading around your home. While this might not be caused by the water, it’s better to be safe by testing the water for coliform bacteria.

Always have your water tested if there are ever any doubts, even if they are not listed above. You should also schedule regular water testing just to be on the safe side.

Find the Right Water Testing it

Sometimes, the government will offer a program that offers free water testing kits in specific areas. These are not usually advertised so you have to do a little digging to find them. Start with the EPA website. If nothing else, they can point you in the right direction.