Discover what’s lurking beneath the surface, it’s not just for hard water issues.
Escherichia coli – CDC Image
Source water for a home comes from one of two sources public water system or a private well owned by the homeowner. In other words do you pay someone for your water? If so then the source would be a public water system. However, if you drilled a well on your own property then you would be considered a private well and responsible for your own water treatment and quality.
Public water supplies are federally regulated and water must arrive to your home at a minimum level of quality required by National Primary Drinking Water Standards Act. You have a right to an annual water quality report called a Consumer Confidence Report from your water supplier. Also, if for any reason the quality of water drops below required standards notification to all customers is required by law. If you have any concerns about your public water supply such as taste and odor issues or lead content, for example, you can have your water tested. However, the first thing to do is to call your provider and request the latest Consumer Confidence Report it will give a full report of water quality. You can contact a local water treatment professional if you wish to have further testing performed.
Those of you who own your own private well you are pumping raw water up from the ground and water quality and safety are your responsibility. When you own your own water supply there are some tests that are recommended regularly, such as, mineral analysis and coliform. There are many pathogens in water that cannot be seen or tested for so the total coliform test was developed. Coliform is a form of bacteria found in animal digestive tracts and is used as an indicator for other harmful bacteria in water, in fact, total coliform tests are the only reliable way to know your water is safe. According to the Environmental Protection Agency private wells should be tested for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, pH and mineral analysis annually or after any repair work. Also storage tanks should be cleaned out and sanitized annually as well. Contact your local water treatment professional to have your water supply tested and sanitized on an annual basis.
No matter your source, home water testing of your water can help identify what is in your water. Your only water problems may be improving the amount calcium hardness and total dissolved solid content with a public water supply. However, if you own you own well you may have calcium, iron, sulfur, nitrates, bacteria or other undesirable contaminants in your water supply. Unfortunately many water contaminants are not visible to the naked eye, the only way to know for sure is to test the source water, bacterial tests and tank sanitization should be performed annually. Water is life, what’s in your water?