Clean drinking water is one of the most fundamental human needs, and it’s often one we take for granted. We assume that, because we live in a well-developed country with municipal water systems or country wells, all of our water is safe and healthy straight from the tap. We simply don’t give it much thought. An analysis of the water in your home is one of the best ways to ensure you’re drinking water free from impurities that could affect your appliances or, more importantly, your health.
Here are some things to consider regarding water testing and treatment, specifically, how often you should test your water and particular reasons to get it tested.
It’s wise to have your water tested whenever you move into a new home. Knowing what’s in your water is a prerequisite to treatment. Even if you’ve been given a copy of a previous water analysis, consider having it tested again. In fact, The EPA (Environment Protection Agency) recommends testing well water annually to ensure the continued quality of your water. If you’re buying a home, ask for a water analysis as part of the process.
Noticeably Hard Water
Cloudy dishes straight out of the dishwasher. Soap scum on tubs and showers. Hard mineral deposits clogging shower heads. These are the telltale signs that you have hard water. Hard water is certainly a nuisance, but did you know it can also lead to costly repairs for homeowners? Get your water tested to determine if you have hard water. If you do, there are several treatment options to minimize the effects of hard water.
Red Water or Stains
Iron water is the most common rural water problem. Iron and Manganese can accumulate in your plumbing, as well as cause red or black stains in laundry, plumbing fixtures, hair, and dishes.
Many new parents decide to test their drinking water when they have a baby. This is especially important if the child will be formula-fed, as most formulas are a powder that is mixed with water. Testing for fluoride is also important as fluoride supplementation is often recommended for children to promote healthy teeth and bones. It’s important to know if your water already contains fluoride before you decide on supplements. The decision to use fluoride is a decision that each parent should make based on careful research to determine if it is best for their child.
If you’re on a well system, then consider analysis if the taste or color of the water suddenly changes for no known reason, or after any event that could affect surface or groundwater. This includes industrial accidents (e.g., chemical spills), extended periods of flooding, lack of well use, or heavy construction. Water analysis is easy, inexpensive and gives you peace of mind. Plus, if you do find a problem, you can seek appropriate treatment.
Unexplained Health Issues
According to the CDC, the presence of contaminants in water can lead to health issues, including gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders. Infants, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people whose immune systems are compromised because of AIDS, chemotherapy, or transplant medications, may be especially susceptible to illness from some contaminants.
Every Year if You’re on a Private Well
Owners of private wells are responsible for ensuring that their water is safe from contaminants. Private wells should be checked every year for mechanical problems, cleanliness, and the presence of coliform bacteria, nitrates, and any other contaminants of local concern.
The U.S. water supply is one of the safest in the world. However, there may be something in your water that requires treatment. The first step is to understand the reasons to get it tested, such as the signs that your water may be contaminated, and the second step is to get it tested right away. From there, you’ll have options and peace of mind knowing you’re doing everything possible to ensure your water is healthy.
At Kinetico we offer free, no obligation in-home water testing, and we will let you know if your water needs any treatment. Call us today at (406) 728-6400 or 363-1782, or visit the Kenetico website.
This post is brought to you by Kinetico Water Systems of Missoula and Ravalli County.