Can we trust the water that comes out of our faucets? Well we would hope so, however more and more research is suggesting that we should test our drinking water to ensure our families are drinking non-contaminated water. Industrial dumping, storage leakage, pesticide run-off and ill-informed government water mandates are all contributors to the decline in the quality of water supplied to households across the United States of America.
Several contaminants such as arsenic, viruses and other disease-causing organisms, chlorine by-products, industrial and agricultural pollutants and lead can make their way to your drinking water. High concentrations of these contaminants can be harmful to our health and should be eliminated from our drinking water completely.(1)
Water that is provided to more than twenty five people has to be tested according to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. This ensures that all municipalities within the United States of America are providing their residents with clean and safe drinking water. Therefore unless you have heard otherwise, you should be confident that your drinking water is safe, however to be sure there are numerous ways you can test your drinking water to ensure your family are only drinking clean and safe water. (2)
Environmental Protection Agency
Municipal and public water is tested regularly by law and these results are made public on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site. You can access your own municipality’s water report on this website.(3)
Local Water Supplier
Alternatively, you may contact your local water supplier to request a sample test of the water supplied from your own faucets. This test will ensure your drinking water has not been contaminated between the treatment plant and your home faucet. (2)
If you are unable to have your water tested by your local water supplier you can have an independent test conducted on your own water at a state-certified laboratory. These laboratories are able to test contaminants from industrial pollutants tofaecal bacteria. The cost of these tests varies as it depends on what you would like tested. A simple mercury test can cost $30 however to conduct a thorough test such as the 94-contaminant screen can cost up to $500.(2)
Home Test Kit
A cheaper alternative to laboratory based testing is to purchase your own Home Test Kit. Although these kits do not test for everything, they are able to pick up harmful contaminants such as bacteria, pesticides, arsenic and lead. The cost of home test kits ranges from $10 to $30. These tests are easy to administer therefore you are able to conduct regular, easy and quick tests on your drinking water to ensure your family is only consuming the best. (4)
Whichever method you decide to use, ensure that you are testing the first supply of water from your faucets in the morning. The first supply of water has been sitting in your pipes throughout the night, this will ensure that your pipes are not contaminating your drinking water with serious pollutants. If your plumbing pipes are leaching contaminants into your drinking water, the concentration of contaminants would be highest in the morning collection.
Although household lead piping was banned in 1986, many homes may still receive their water through lead pipes due to old infrastructure. If you are unsure get your water tested as your municipality may be providing you with clean and safe water however your plumbing pipes are contaminating it with lead before it reaches your glass.
Filtering your tap water is your safest and most effective method in ensuring you are providing the best quality of water to your loved ones. Water filters have shown to be the most cost effective and eco-friendly solution to your water needs.
Water filters do not require any energy to provide purified water therefore you can purify your own water without causing additional burden on our natural energy stores. Some affordable and effective water pitchers on the market include the Britat hat can be easily purchased online.