The Importance of Testing What is in Water Before Drinking
There are a number of contaminants that can affect the quality of water. These contaminants include heavy metals, pesticides, and other chemicals. It is important to test the quality of the water before drinking it.
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Many pollutants can be found naturally in groundwater, but they can also be brought in by human activity. Some of these substances can have harmful effects on your body. For example, heavy metals in water can lead to health problems, including kidney damage, liver damage, and nervous system disorders.
One of the most common reasons for water testing is the presence of bacteria. The coliform count tells you how much bacteria are present in the water. A low count of coliform means the water is safe to drink. A high count indicates the water is contaminated. To test for bacteria, you will need to take a sample from the faucet and place it in a sterile container.
You can also test the water for a wide variety of other contaminants. Aside from coliform, you can use a pH test to assess the water’s acidity and basicity. A higher pH level can cause a variety of health problems. It can also lead to the corrosion of pipes. It can also make water taste bad.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets standards for contaminant levels in water. These are known as health risk limits. If the value of a contaminant exceeds the health risk limit, it is considered to be a risk to your health. However, the EPA does not endorse any particular home water testing kit. It is important to check with your water supplier to find out if they have a yearly test for contaminant levels.
If the results of your water quality tests show that your water is not safe for human consumption, it is important to contact your local health department. They may be able to offer advice and help you take action. You can also consult a certified laboratory. The lab will be able to test the amount of pollutants in the water and determine the best course of treatment.
For more information about testing the water you drink, visit the Environmental Working Group’s website. They have a searchable database of water quality test results by zip code. They also provide a list of local laboratories that test for contaminants. They also have a map of the regions where they test.
You can also test the water for pesticides and other harmful chemicals. These include arsenic, radium, atrazine, and mercury. You can use a hand-held digital instrument to perform these tests. These instruments are light and portable. It is also possible to perform these tests on your smartphone. But you should be careful to keep the cap of the bottle clean to avoid contaminating the sample.
You can also use the EPA’s water testing tables to compare the results of your test to acceptable standards for safe drinking water. If the contaminant is below the guidance value, it is not likely to cause you harm.