Homeowners understand the importance of fresh, clean water. Not only does high-quality water contribute to human health through cleaning and bathing, but clean, potable water is essential to cooking and drinking.
The water that flows through the taps throughout your home can and does affect the health and safety of your family.
Water and good health are considerably interlinked. Health risks such as hepatitis A, Giardia intestinalis, norovirus, and Shigella can occur when the water flowing through your home’s plumbing becomes contaminated. This, of course, will compromise your and your family’s health and overall well-being.
Water quality testing is important in maintaining a safe and healthy home. Here are some reasons why water testing is fundamental to good health and some surface water and groundwater bioremediation methods that will allow you to appropriately test the quality of your home’s water.
Minimizing risks of contamination
Whenever you draw water from your taps, it’s very likely that your water will come from a public supply system. And unless you live in a rural area, your water will come from your town’s local municipality. This can pose certain hazards as water drawn from such systems are at risk for various contaminants.
Local municipality water
Water that comes from your local municipality is subject to various sources of contaminants. Natural weather phenomena, agricultural or industrial runoff, and even the passage of time can play contributing roles in allowing contaminants to be released in the surface water that is drawn into your home.
The possible contaminants your home’s taps could become subjected to include:
- Heavy metals
- Animal waste
- Nitrates and Nitrites from local agricultural plots
- Industrial chemical waste
- Naturally-occurring Fluoride
- Naturally-occurring Radionuclides
When released into your public supply system, these contaminants can cause severe adverse health effects.
Groundwater supply wells
Water wells remains an important source of potable, clean water supply, particularly for people living in rural areas throughout the globe. Those considering buying a home in a rural setting must consider the problems that can potentially arise with a water well supply.
Similar to local municipal water, groundwater is a shared resource. This means that if contamination occurs in one home, there’s a strong likelihood that other homes within the rural setting will be affected. When buying a home in a rural setting, be aware of the rules and regulations within that municipality.
In the U.S., lead-free requirements were only introduced at the beginning of 2014. This means that any home built before then, especially homes built before 1986, may contain lead plumbing. And the new lead-free requirements only apply to new fixtures, signifying that existing plumbing fixtures are more at risk to have lead contaminants.
Exposure to lead, even trace amounts, can be toxic. As such, you should assess your risk levels for such contaminants. There are resources available online that can educate prospective homeowners on the potential risks regarding water quality in their desired municipality.
Testing your home’s water quality
If you have already bought your dream home, be sure to include water testing as part of your maintenance checklist. For those looking to still purchase a home, request the seller of the home provides water testing results before passing papers.
Instant home test kits are available for homeowners to buy to test the quality of their tap water. While instant home test kits are an affordable solution, they only provide an overview water contaminant, giving readings of positive and negative.
To get complete peace of mind, collect a water sample from your home’s tap and send the sample to a qualified water testing lab. The knowledge and experience a testing lab has will ensure you get a clear idea of what your water source may be contaminated with.
If your home has access to a private well, you may be able to clean up any groundwater contaminants by applying chemicals such as sodium permanganate. As a liquid chemical oxidant, sodium permanganate can treat chlorinated solvents that contaminate soil and groundwater. Inflatable packers for water wells will provide the necessary groundwater sample you can submit to a water testing lab.
Water quality is essential for good health. It sustains many aspects of our lives, from cooking and cleaning to washing and drinking. It is essential to human life and fundamental to ensuring good health. As an important resource, it’s important we maintain the water quality of our homes.
By implementing testing to your home’s water environment, you ensure this all-too-important resource never degrades its value.
Patrick Randall is the Vice President of National Sales at Hepure Technologies. He holds a BS in Mechanical and Chemical Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and an M.S. in Civil Engineering from CSUS. He has been working in the environmental and bioremediation space since graduating in 1986.
March 28, 2018