It’s natural for homeowners to be concerned about the quality of their drinking water. Although water quality for public consumption is strictly regulated by the EPA (except for private wells), and the U.S. enjoys among the safest water supplies in the world, you may still wonder exactly what is in the water that comes out of your tap.
Does it feature contaminants? What about chemicals? Water for public consumption must meet certain standards, but quality and content still vary from state to state, and even from one municipality to the next. Plus, you need look no further than the recent water debacle in Flint, Michigan for a good example of why it’s wise to have your water quality tested. The good news is that every community water supplier is required to file annual reports about water quality (since 1999), so homeowners can access these resources.
However, before you buy or sell a home, it’s a good idea to have the water tested just so you know exactly what’s running through the pipes. Above Grade Home Inspections is happy to accommodate you with water quality testing as part of the home inspection process. What does this process entail and what can you learn from it?
Is Water Contaminated?
Let’s start by saying that there’s really no such thing as “pure” natural water. Water in its purest form, say, from mountain streams, still contains heavy metals, at the very least, that are leached from rocks, soil, and silt. These may make for an appealing flavor, but in high enough concentrations, these heavy metals can prove harmful to humans ingesting them.
That said, there are much larger concerns when it comes to potential contaminants in water. Going back to the above example, the water in Flint, MI was found to be contaminated by high levels of lead, which infiltrated the water supply as aging pipes deteriorated. It didn’t help that the source of water, the Flint River, was not properly treated with anti-corrosive agents, as it should have been. The water turned out to be highly corrosive, which probably sped the deterioration of pipes and the rising levels of lead in the water supply.
That’s just one example where water quality testing would have been extremely illuminating. In this case, the failure of man was to blame. The same could be said of high levels of chemicals from pesticides and fertilizers in the water supply. However, contaminants in the water supply may also be due to mere happenstance, such as the erosion of natural rock formations upstream, or a particularly harsh storm season that raises water levels, stirs up silt, and causes erosion of topsoil in surrounding areas.
Reading annual water quality reports isn’t a bad idea, but having the water coming out of your taps tested is even better. Above Grade Home Inspections understands how important it is to know if your water is safe to drink and if it meets your personal standards, which is why we offer this essential service.
Does Water Contain Added Chemicals?
Many states, counties, and municipalities include certain chemicals in drinking water in an effort to deliver the cleanest, safest water to residents. This is why public water supplies often feature levels of chlorine deemed to be safe for consumption – this disinfectant kills pathogens like viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and so on that are known to cause diseases.
In some cases, additives are meant to treat common issues in the population at large. For example, some regions add fluoride to water as a measure to reduce tooth decay. Of course, parents of small children may take exception to this. Even though the levels of fluoride added to the public water supply must meet standards for safety, studies have shown that ingestion of fluoride by young children could lead to cognitive and other developmental issues.
The point is that you need to know which chemicals, if any, are in your water supply and at what concentration so you can make informed decisions about whether or not you want to add a filtration or purification system or simply switch to bottled water, for example. With water quality testing from Above Grade Home Inspections, you should have all the data you need.
Don’t Wait to Have Your Water Tested
You need to know if the water you and your family consume is safe to drink, and the best way to know for sure is to undergo water quality testing. Contact the experts at Above Grade Home Inspections today at 845-345-8967 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request a quote or schedule an appointment for home inspection, including water quality testing.