What’s in Your Water? Three Easy Ways to Find Out
Whether you use city water or rely on water from a private well, it’s smart to know what’s actually in your water. Clean, healthy water is one of the most important things you can do to maintain healthy living.
Most people believe the tap water they receive at home is safe to drink. But this really depends on what one deems as “safe”. According to a study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), over 316 contaminants have been found in the nation’s drinking water. Over 60% of these contaminants have no standards and are not regulated.
Over time, the increased use of water disinfectants, pesticides, herbicides and ongoing environmental pollution all contribute to the contamination of our drinking water. If you drink tap water without filtration, it is likely that you’re consuming chemicals and contaminants including chlorine, chloramines, led, mercury, pesticides, herbicides and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s)—a chemical cocktail of sorts.
Fortunately there are steps you can take to become informed on the quality of water coming into your home so you can make informed choices on the action to take, including filtering your water.
Water Quality Report:
The first step is to review your local water report. Each year you should receive a water quality report typically called a Consumer Confidence Report or Water Quality Report before July 1st. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires all drinking water suppliers to provide this report annually. This report provides water quality statistics on regulated water contaminants. This report will tell you where your water comes from and contaminants that may be present in your water, including which chemicals are used for water disinfection.
You can also access your water quality information online. The EWG maintains a national drinking water database and the EPA maintains a directory of water quality reports. In addition, most local water suppliers also have this information readily available on their website.
Home Water Tests:
Water can become contaminated as it passes through the distribution channel and even as it passes through the pipes in your home. A home water test will give you a general indication of certain contaminants present in the water from your tap. Home water tests are available at many home supply stores and online. Depending on the home test kit, you can test for a variety of contaminants including E.coli, lead, pesticides, nitrates/nitrites, chlorine, hardness and pH. Even though these tests can be less than 100% accurate, it is a fast and easy way to identify the contaminants present in your water.
Independent Lab Test:
Submitting water samples to an independent testing lab is by far the most accurate way to determine the quality of your water. Although a bit more expensive (most start at around $100), lab tests are quite extensive and provide accurate readings when the lab instructions are followed exactly.
At Aquasana, we use National Testing Labs to test our customer’s water. The results from these tests are used to customize water filtration solutions to meet the exact needs of our customers. The price of the lab test can be used toward a water filtration solution making it a smart choice for those who are ready to take actions to improve the quality of their water.
Important Note about Well Water:
If you receive water from a well, it is important that you have your water tested at least once a year. Most well water is not regulated or monitored for quality and it is up the homeowner to ensure the water is safe to use. Well water can be susceptible to bacteria, iron, hardness and a host of other environmental contaminants. Each of these problems can be easily solved with the proper filtration, softening and anti-bacterial solutions in place.
If you have questions about testing your water, let us know and we’ll connect you with a water specialist on our team!