When to test water at your home | Lifestyle

Contaminated water supplies pose a significant threat to human health. According to the World Health Organization, contaminated water is linked to a variety of diseases, including cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, and hepatitis A, among others. Sources of drinking water are exposed to contaminants, and many people may have no idea if their water is safe for consumption or what they should be doing to ensure it is.

The Environmental Protection Agency notes that many testing labs or services supply sample containers to people interested in having their water tested. But that leaves the question of when to test water. The EPA states that certain conditions and activities may justify testing water for the presence of various things that can make people ill.

Condition: Recurrent gastrointestinal disease

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Recommended test: Coliform bacteria

Condition: Household plumbing contains lead

Recommended Test: Pit, Lead, Copper

Condition: Flaky residue, soaps do not lather

Recommended test: hardness

Condition: Water softener required for hardness treatment

Recommended test: manganese, iron

Condition: Stained plumbing fixtures, laundry

Recommended test: iron, copper, manganese

Condition: Foul taste or smell

Recommended Test: Hydrogen Sulfide, Corrosion, Metals

Condition: Cloudy, foamy or colored water

Recommended test: paint, detergent

Condition: corrosion of pipes, plumbing

Recommended Test: Corrosion, pH, Lead

Condition: Rapid wear and tear of the water treatment system

Recommended test: pH, corrosion

Condition: Nearby areas with intensive agriculture

Recommended test: nitrate, pesticides, E. coli

Requirement: Nearby coal or other mining operation

Recommended Test: Metals, pH, Corrosion

Condition: Smell of gasoline or heating oil and near gas stations or buried fuel tanks

Recommended Test: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Condition: Salty taste and sea water or a heavily salted roadway nearby

Recommended Test: Chloride, TDS, Sodium

Various conditions can indicate a contaminated water supply. When such conditions arise, individuals should not hesitate to have their water tested.

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