Learn why it is important to test your drinking water and the best ways to do it.

The The Best Ways To Test Your Drinking Water For Quality And Safety

Our bodies are very dependent upon staying hydrated. We require water to flush toxins from our vital organs, carry nutrients to our cells and provide a moist environment for ears, nose and throat tissues. The average person drinks about 2 – 3 litres of water per day, but what if that water had hidden toxins, bacteria or other contaminants we did not know about?

How Do I Know If my Water Is Safe To Drink?

Our senses alert us of a few of the more obvious contaminants such as smelling a sulfur odor, seeing discoloration or cloudiness, or tasting something in our water.  Some of most harmful bacteria, chemicals, viruses and even lead cannot be smelled or seen in our drinking water.

Are we taking it for granted that the water we are drinking is really void of these types of contaminants. Even if you drink bottled water you could still be ingesting some of these contaminants. Yes, not all bottled water is the same and many brands are just bottled tap water.

Any municipality serving water to more than 25 people are required to comply to the Safe Drinking Water Act. This means that the water must be tested on a regular basis for any harmful contaminants. If any contaminants are found above the acceptable limits the public must be notified.  You will often see this in a boil water alert. The only problem with this is that water treatment plants do not test for pharmaceutical drugsand other contaminants in the water that you could be drinking right now.

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How Can I Test My Drinking Water?

If you have running tap water provided from a municipality or public or private utility they provide a Consumer Confidence Report annually. You can also obtain this report via request.

Keep in mind this water is typically not tested for everything and there have been many cities across the nation that have had serious drinking water issues that have affected their health such as Flint, Michigan, Camp Lejeune, NC  and Willow Grove, PA.

Testing the water quality in your home really depends upon what you want to test for.  Your home may be near a major chemical spill, agricultural center or manufacturer.  Maybe you are in a large city where your water could be just as easily compromised.  

If you you are unsure of what you want to test for or if you want to test for “everything”, it is best to contact a professional water laboratory.  A list of certified offices can be found on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website.  You can also call their Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.

You can also test your water from home by using a home water testing kit that can be easily purchased.

The PurTest Home Water Analysis Kit that is based upon EPA water testing standards. It has a high reliabilty rating and will test for bacteria, lead, pesticides, iron, chlorine and several other water quality conditions.

How to Test Well Water

About 15% of the US population relies on private well or groundwater for drinking.  Private well water is not regulated by the EPA and are not subject to EPA standards. Some states and local governments do regulate for water quality, you will need to contact your local government to find out what regulations if any exist.

Your family could be at risk of illness if the groundwater they drink becomes contaminated.

Sources of contamination include the following:

>>Landfill seepage

>>Storage tanks located underground

>>Runoff from roadways and urban areas

>>Fertilizers and pesticides

>>Failed septic tanks

Testing your well water can be done simply at home unless you want to rely on professional companies to test for you.  

Watersafe Well-Water Test  is an inexpensive home option. The kit tests for the most common contaminants found in drinking water such as lead, bacteria and pesticides. This test is recommended yearly.

How Can I Ensure Safe Drinking Water When I Travel?

Often times when traveling you stop at the store and purchase bottled water, some may even bring along water from home. Not all bottled water is free of chemicals or contaminants and many test positive for these. Why not take control of always having safe drinking water and bring along a water bottle with a filter in it. This way you can fill it up on your trip or throughout your day with less concern over what you are consuming from your water.

Knowing what is in your drinking water starts with you.  You do not have to spend a ton of money to ensure the water you and your family consume is safe. Take the necessary steps today and put the worry at ease.

About the Author Stephanie Anson

Stephanie Anson grew up farming with her grandparents where food preservation was an important aspect of her life. This included canning and other food storage techniques. Her enthusiasm continues today with her husband in wilderness survival, homesteading and colonial food preservation methods. Her foundation comes from past military experience along with her husband’s work in the field of biology. Stephanie has 3 children, her eldest in college and her youngest just over a year old. Enjoy the adventure with us!

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