Drinking Water Safety – Testing Tips

We rely a lot on water for different tasks in our every day lives, and it is essential for our survival. Not getting enough water can lead to dehydration which if not addressed can be very dangerous. Having safe and clean water for drinking, bathing, cooking and our every day necessities is important. It is vital to know where our drinking water comes from, how it has been treated, and if it has been deemed safe to drink.

 

Tap water can differ depending on where it comes from– whether it comes from a private well, an unregulated community system, or a regulated water system. Those who have private wells and rely on them for their drinking water are responsible for maintaining the well and ensuring that their well water is safe to consume. In the large public water system, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the tap water – however, the EPA does not regulate small public water systems or private wells.

Tap water can become contaminated in different ways by many different things, such as:

 

  • Local land-use practices
  • Viruses, parasites, and bacteria
  • Industry
  • Failing septic systems and sewer overflow
  • Minerals and/or chemicals that occur naturally – i.e. arsenic

 

Being proactive is key to ensure the safety of you and your family. There are various different ways that you can find out if the water in your home is safe for consumption.

 

  • Water Testing – There are tests that you can purchase online or in the store which you can do yourself. However, probably the most accurate thing to do would be call a local water testing agency that is in your area and they can come out and take samples, run the testing, and provide their professional opinion.
  • Search the EWG Database – Searching the Environmental Working Group’s National Drinking Water Database may be helpful. With a database that is searchable by zip code and water company name, once you enter your information it will list any water quality violations and chemicals that were found in the water including the amounts.
  • Simply Ask – The easiest place to start is with your water company. You should already be receiving an annual report that details any contaminants that may be present in the water and if they pose any harm to you.

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