There is a lot that we can take for granted but the water that we use every day in our homes should not be one of them. This water is generally clean but can still contain harmful substances that you just don’t want to be affecting you and your family. That’s why we are going to tell you how to test if your home water is safe so you can be as healthy as can be.
You, Your Family, Your Water
- 1 5 Ways to Find Out if Your Water is Safe
- 1.1 Step 1: Check with the Water Company
- 1.2 Step 2: Check the Environmental Working Group’s National Drinking Water Database
- 1.3 Step 3: Check with the EPA’s Drinking Water Watch Program
- 1.4 Step 4: Learn about Specific Contaminants
- 1.5 Step 5: Find out if Your Water is from a Well
- 1.6 How to Test if Your Home Water is Safe
Why is water quality so important for your family? There can be a ton of different reasons that you need to check the water that comes out of your home’s taps. There are a number of different chemicals, vitamins, and minerals that can come through your tap – plenty that you probably don’t even know about.
Between the substances that are intentionally placed in your water and the ones that get there on their way through the city pipes to you, you’re going to want to check your water.
5 Ways to Find Out if Your Water is Safe
Step 1: Check with the Water Company
If you’re getting water to your house, you can bet that there’s a business behind it. In fact, you pay them a bill every month for their trouble. And, since they are the very source of your water, they are probably the best people to ask about what your water has in it.
Every water agency has to file an annual report on their water quality that includes an analysis of any contaminants that may be in the water that comes to your house. This Consumer Confidence Report has to be provided to you if you request it to stay in accordance with the EPA. So, that’s a pretty good first way on how to test if your home water is safe.
Step 2: Check the Environmental Working Group’s National Drinking Water Database
Another very official way that you can get the details about your water is by searching the National Drinking Water Database that is managed by the Environmental Working Group. You can head over to this database and search your zip code and you will have your water quality report in a flash.
When you look at your area’s report, you may be alarmed by all the highlighted numbers you see at first. However, don’t be shocked. You should only pay attention to any numbers that say that the “health limit” is above the “legal limit.”
Step 3: Check with the EPA’s Drinking Water Watch Program
There are 18 states that work with the EPA in their Drinking Water Watch program so you may want to check if you do indeed live in one of those 18 states. If you do, you can check out how your water is with the EPA. You enter some information to identify which water system you are looking up and you’ll know just what is in your water. This isn’t one of our favored methods because different states provide different information and some of the links on the page don’t work. But, if you head over to where your information should live and find it, you’re golden!
Step 4: Learn about Specific Contaminants
Having all of the information about any contaminants that do show up in your water report is key. Of course, we always hope that you don’t see any at all – but reality can happen much differently. In the event that you do see something you don’t like come up on your water radar, you will want to check the EWG’s chemical database or the EPA’s list of water contaminants.
These places are where you will find a bunch of information on what you should be looking for, how much you should see in your water, and what possible side effects are of these sorts of chemicals being in your water. So, if you ever see any chemicals jump at out you in your water report, you can see how concerned how should or shouldn’t be by learning about the specific contaminants.
Step 5: Find out if Your Water is from a Well
If your water comes from a well, you might have to work a little extra hard to find out info on your drinking water. Drinking-water wells are only regulated by the EPA in an incomplete database that often has outdated or otherwise less than useful information.
You most likely will be able to find a link for the well you are looking for but, in the event that you can’t, you should call your state government to see if they have any more reliable sources of information for you.
How to Test if Your Home Water is Safe
Home Testing Kits
Are you the DIY kind of guy? Then you can test your water yourself to know exactly what is in it right at that moment in time. You may find that your information is more accurate than anyone else’s! Some of these kits will look like a strip of paper that test the presence of various chemicals while others will feature test tubes and droppers.
While this method of testing won’t be the most accurate due to the fact that it isn’t going to be the best technology, it still works and you know the information isn’t being skewed by anyone reporting it.
Private Company Tests
Another way to test your drinking water is to ask the pros. There are private companies that will come out and test the water specifically at your home and give you the information on the contaminants in it. While their information will probably be more accurate than your own work, they will also probably try to sell you a water filtration system at some point. This may lead to some skewing of numbers to try to push their water filtering products onto you.
All in all, the quality of your home’s tap water is important. It is our recommendation that testing the water in a variety of ways is the best way to go about it. First, check several different databases and agencies to find out what they think. Then, see if you can test things yourself and get results in the same ballpark.
Last, if you need to, call a private company to test it out. That’s how to test if your home water is safe: Get as much information as you can from as many different sources as possible.