SHOULD I HAVE MY WATER TESTED?
It concerns your health and the health of your family, so you need to know some basic facts. In addition to illness, a variety of less serious problems such as taste, color, odor and staining of clothes or fixtures are signs of possible water quality problems. Other things to think about include the nearness of your water well to septic systems and the composition of your home’s plumbing materials. This fact sheet provides information to help you decide whether or not to have your water tested, and if so, suggested tests for your situation.
Regardless of your water source, municipal or well, here are two situations that may require testing: Do you suspect lead may be in some of your household plumbing materials and water service lines? Most water systems test for lead and other contaminants as a regular part of water monitoring. These tests give a system-wide picture, but do not reflect conditions at a specific household faucet. If you want to know if your home’s drinking water contains unsafe levels of lead, have your water tested. Testing is the only way to confirm if lead is present or absent. Some faucet and pitcher filters can remove lead from drinking water.
If you want more information, please call our Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 786-800-4598.
Municipal water systems and technological advances account for the staggering growth in water safety. When you turn on the tap, where does the water come from? If you pay a water bill, you are purchasing water from a public water system, where your water is monitor, then drinking water agencies are responsible for making sure it meets the National Primary Drinking Water Standards.
If your drinking water does not come from a public water system, or you get your drinking water from a household well, you alone are responsible for assuring that it is safe. For this reason, routine testing for a few of the most common contaminants is highly recommended. Even if you currently have a safe, pure water supply, regular testing can be valuable because it establishes a record of water quality. This record is helpful in solving any future problems and in obtaining compensation if someone damages your water supply
There are millions of bacteria inside the average glass of water. While most of these bacteria are harmless, some are not. Below you’ll find a guide to the most common waterborne microorganisms that may be lurking in your water, what they mean for your health, but the good news is you can test your water and make sure is safe from bacterium, lead, or copper.
Escherichia Coli can enter the water supply through nearby septic contamination. Ingesting contaminated water can cause nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
Hepatitis A occurs via sewage overflows, storm water runoff, or malfunctioning septic systems. Ingesting contaminated water can cause fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark stool, dark urine, joint pain, jaundice, and itching.
Legionella becomes a serious health concern when it grows and/or spreads in constructed water systems. Symptoms of the disease typically present as pneumonia and include – high fever, chills, cough, headaches, diarrhea.
Salmonella, if a well has been contaminated with feces, Sewage overflow, septic system malfunction, polluted storm water, or agricultural runoff. Possible symptoms include gastroenteritis, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and bloody stool.
Campylobacter organism usually found in private wells, contaminated with feces from infected people or animals. It doesn’t take many contaminated cells to make you sick. Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, fever, abdominal cramps, and vomiting.
Giardia lamblia it can be found in streams and lakes, and they can enter water systems, causing intestinal infection, symptoms include watery diarrhea, fatigue, ramps, gas, nausea, weight loss.
Cryptosporidium is very resilient, mostly spread through water–making it the leading cause of waterborne disease among humans. Symptoms are diarrhea, cramps, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, fever, and weight loss.
Lead and copper can enter drinking water when plumbing materials corrode, especially where the water has high acidity or low mineral content that corrodes pipes and fixtures. A common source of lead or copper in drinking water are pipes, faucets, fixtures, and pipes connecting home to the water main. Affects development of children, adults, and pregnant women.
IF YOU HAVE WELL WATER, IT SHOULD BE TESTED EVERY FIVE YEARS, OR IF WATER CHANGES COLOR, UNPLEASANT TASTE, OR SMELL. IF YOU HAVE MUNICIPAL WATER AND NOTICE ANY OF THESE CHANGES IT SHOULD ALSO BE TESTED TO MAKE SURE IT IS SAFE TO DRINK.
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