How To Test For Water Contamination In Your Home

178516723The water that flows out of your tap is often of questionable quality. Most of us prefer to consume bottled water assuming it is free of contaminants. Still, it’s a good idea to know for sure just how safe your tap water is.  To perform your own tests on your tap water, you’ll need a water quality test kit. You’ll probably need one to test for bacteria and another to test for metals and other water contamination.

You can use a First Alert WT1 Drinking Water Test Kit to test for bacteria, pesticides, lead, nitrates, hardness, chlorine and PH levels.  This test is not extremely accurate and it doesn’t test for other harmful water contaminants. This is a great way to get a heads up about a potential problem, but the most accurate testing can only be done by an independent lab. It will help you be absolutely certain about the contaminants in your water.

Some of the most prevalent contaminants in your water are bacteria that may not be harmful, but do release elements such as sulphur, iron and biofilm, which coats your water. Iron has a bitter taste and may cause stains in your fixtures and laundry. It also colors the water, leaving a yellow or orange tint. Manganese is another mineral that stains the water black or purple.  It also stains laundry and fixtures. Disease causing bacteria might also be present. These bacteria include E. coli, fecal coli form and fecal streptococci. Lead is a neurotoxin, another dangerous contaminant. If lead is in the water it probably came from soldered lead or copper pipes.

Other water contaminants don’t cause significant harm but they make the water unpalatable. Your water could be contaminated by hydrogen sulfide and smell like sulfur or rotten eggs. Your water may be hardened by its salt content. Another element you may find in your water is sand or grit.  Each jurisdiction has a table that lists the acceptable levels for this contaminant.

After running your own test for water contamination, you may want to make sure you know exactly what’s in your tap water. Hire a lab that specializes in water testing. The results should yield all the dangerous and harmless elements in your water.

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