How can I test my water?

Water in a glass

Water Quality In your Home

Water is an important part of our health and lifestyles. Unfortunately, we don’t always know what our water is and whether it is safe for drinking or not. For instance, Flint, Michigan is in crisis mode with its water supply and has inspired cities all over the country to perform water testing. How does our drinking water gets contaminated?

Water testing has found various chemicals and microbes that contaminate the aquifers and surface waters, as well as radionuclides that come from agriculture and industry contributions. Heavy metals, organic solvents, and petroleum products that come from disposal sites and storage facilities also migrate into aquifers.

While cities, counties, and states have professional water test equipment or the means to hire outside services. Fortunately, there are kits for water testing and treatment available for at-home, and in this article, we are going to discuss how testing water quality at home and why you should test water pressure in the house as well as with outside services. We have researched and found answers to many commonly asked questions regarding water testing at home.

Why should I test my water?

The following reasons should be an indication that water testing is needed in your home:

  • Color changes
  • An odor
  • Strange taste
  • Ongoing, serious gastrointestinal illness within household members

A shallow well is vulnerable to bacterial contamination and you should schedule frequent water testing. Contaminants that you should look for from each water testing you perform are:

  • Coliform bacteria
  • Cysts and Viruses
  • Nitrates
  • Lead
  • Pesticides

What is the most important water quality test?

There are nine quality water testing should be addressed if any indication shows:

  • Dissolved Oxygen: Of all nine-quality water testing, this one is the most important. This measure if the water can support animals and plants. There are several different factors affecting the amount of oxygen dissolved in water with temperature being the primary one. Less gas dissolves as temperatures rise.
  • Turbidity: This is the measurement of the water’s clarity. Clarity is what allows a deeper penetration of the sunlight. The main causes of turbidity stem from human endeavors like erosion and living organisms.
  • Total Solids: This water testing measures both dissolved solids and suspended solids of six total solids which are clay, industrial waste, plankton, silt, soil runoff, and sewage.
  • Ph Level: The PH level of water should be between 4 and 9 for aquatic life.
  • Flow and Temperature Rate: The ecology of a river relies on the temperature, several human and natural factors can affect that. The factors from humans include dams, development, and industry. Water testing must be done in two different places of river at the same time to get the best reading.
  • Nitrates: Animal and plant life need nitrogen in the water for survival.
  • Fecal Coliform: These certain bacteria will propagate in animals and humans’ digestive tracts and are frequently indicators of probable pathogenic contamination. Fecal coliform enters a waterway from animal waste, septic tanks, sewage overflow, and untreated sewage.
  • Biochemical Oxygen Demand: Also known as BOD, a measurement of oxygen that is removed from an aquatic environment by way of aerobic microorganisms. Water testing for BOD measures levels of organic pollution found in lakes and streams.
  • Phosphorous: Phosphates are a needed nutrient and are found in bones, shells, and animal teeth. Phosphate ions are lowered when phosphorous is removed from sewage.

What is considered good water quality?

State agencies define their own Water Quality Standards for various bodies of water in the United States, guided by the water’s desired uses such as drinking water, fish habitat, recreational use. The Clean Water Act (CWA) requires each of these governing jurisdictions to submit biennial reports after water testing procedures in their respective areas. These reports are completed typically by a state environmental agency. Each state is recommended by the EPA to submit a single “Integrated Report” that comprises its list of waters that are impaired and the status of all bodies of water in the state.

What is a pH test for water?

pH is one of the most common quality water testing that is performed. This water testing indicates the acidity and measurement of the potential hydrogen ions activity. pH measurements are zero to fourteen, with 7.0 on the scale considered to be neutral.

Getting a drink of water

What is the best pH for drinking water?

It is the recommendation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that drinking water should have a pH level between 6.5 and 8.5 on the 0 to 14 scale, with 7 being considered optimal.

While your local city or state is required to perform water testing and report the results to the EPA, doing your monthly in-home water testing can be beneficial to you and your family. Hiring an agency that is equipped and informed on the minimal requirements for quality drinking water. The knowledge of such a company is as beneficial as having a professional contractor trim the trees around your home. Need a professional to help with your water testing? Call Oliver's Pure Water in Aledo and Weatherford, TX today at (817) 205-6411!