Water Testing: What You Need to Know
Water Testing reveals your water treatment needs. Home water testing can ensure that you are fully aware of your home's water quality, and any issues you should address.
Why is water testing so important?
The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that over 23 million Americans consume contaminated water.
The EPA is responsible for regulation of public drinking water systems. Homeowners who use municipal water supplies can request a copy of their local water report to review potential issues with their water.
While the majority of the population in the U.S. receives their water from municipal water supplies, more than 15 million households rely on well water.
Because private wells are not regulated by the EPA, well owners are responsible for regularly testing their water and maintaining its cleanliness.
Well water contaminants
Contaminants in well water can result from both natural and manmade causes. Flooding or agricultural runoff can infect water supplies with chemicals and organic bacteria.
Nearby manufacturing plants, agricultural fields, and septic tanks can cause contaminants to be released in the groundwater. Untreated, they can cause serious adverse health effects.
The only way to know if your water requires treatment is to conduct a test of your water quality.
A comprehensive well water test checks for a wide variety of chemicals, minerals and contaminants. It also examines the hardness of the water and checks for manganese, sulfides and other indicators of potential health problems.
When is the right time for a water quality test?
As a general guideline, private well owners should have their wells tested at least once a year.
If any component of your well water system seems to have aged or become damaged, it’s wise to test your well water as soon as possible. The National Ground Water Association (NGW) advises that well owners should promptly test their water in any of these circumstances:
• The septic system has malfunctioned or overflowed recently
• A flood occurs or if the well cap ruptures
• Anyone living in the home reports instances of gastrointestinal distress