Signs You Should Get Your Water Tested
Do you have a private well or use the public water system in your home? No matter the answer, there are some characteristics you should look out for in the water you use every day for drinking, cooking, cleaning and bathing. If you notice any strange signs in your water, you should get a home water evaluation to guarantee your water is safe for you and your family.
Strange Tastes & Smells in Your Water
Contaminants in water are typically not noticed by just looking at the water. More commonly, unwanted contaminants are discovered in the taste or smell of the water. If you taste or smell the following in your water, you should get your water tested:
Chlorine: although chlorine has been used to kill off several contaminants in tap water for hundreds of years, recent studies show that it is not good for our health. In fact, according to the U.S. Council of Environmental Quality, “Cancer risk among people drinking chlorinated water is 93% higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine.” Therefore, if you can taste or smell the chlorine in your water, you should get it tested to check the levels of chlorine.
Metal: if you smell or taste metal in your water, it most likely IS metal in your water such as iron, manganese, copper, lead or zinc. Although this taste is usually quite natural especially for ground water, it can also mean that your copper plumbing may be corroding. Small traces are typically unharmful but levels that exceed EPA’s maximum contaminant levels can lead to poisoning and other very serious damage and disorders.
Sulfur: if your water has a smell or taste that is similar to rotten eggs, this most likely means that there are traces of sulfur (or hydrosulfuric acid) in your water. Although it poses no health risks on its own, the presence of hydrogen sulfide could also mean that there are other, more dangerous contaminants in your water.
Common Symptoms & Areas of Water Contamination
Although you can taste or smell some contaminants in your water, several other serious contaminants cannot be detected with your senses. These contaminants include: arsenic, bacteria, Salmonella, E coli, fluoride, cryptosporidium, giardia, nitrate, coliform, pesticides, and several others.
If someone (or especially more than one person) is suffering from the following symptoms, you should get your water tested: stomachache, diarrhea, nausea, cramps, and/or headache. This is especially important for children, the elderly, or people with a weakened immune system because they are more sensitive to such contaminants found in water. Also, if you live near an intensive agricultural area, radon-rich area, coal operation, gas drilling operation, factory, dump, or gas station, the chances of your water getting contaminated increases.
The Benefits of Home Water Tests & Water Purification Systems
Being aware of the signs that you should get you water tested is especially important for those who use their own, private water system simply because you are in charge of ensuring the quality of your water is . Nonetheless, even with several different quality tests done on the city water, there are still occasions when unwanted contaminants get into the water without the city’s control and knowledge. Therefore it is often beneficial and necessary to get your home water tested despite whether it is a private or public water treatment system.
An easy solution to ensure your family is protected by water contaminants now and in the future is to invest in a whole house water purification system such as a Reverse Osmosis system.