Why Is Water Quality Important?
Whether you drink it or cook with it, water quality testing is very important. This is because the water you use directly affects your health. A variety of substances are in the water, and some are harmful to humans. In fact, there are several common substances that you may be drinking, such as iron, which can rust clothes and fixtures. Also, water has bacteria, which can cause digestive problems and illness. Water quality testing is important to ensure that you are not drinking contaminated water.
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The EPA recommends testing for total coliform bacteria and nitrates yearly. The presence of these contaminants is harmful to humans and can cause gastrointestinal problems, kidney and liver cancer, and a variety of other illnesses.
Water quality testing can be performed on your own at home. You can also take samples of your water at a local well and check them for contaminants. If you’re using a private well, you should call a professional to determine the right frequency for testing. If you have a public source, you should ask your water supplier about their testing procedures.
The EPA recommends that you test the water you’re using for dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids, turbidity, pH, and total coliform bacteria. Testing a well for these contaminants can be a good way to determine whether or not you are using the right water for your home. You should also consider testing the water in your plumbing if you are concerned about the water’s quality. This is especially important for high-risk populations, such as infants, pregnant women, and the elderly.
You can also test for toxic inorganic substances. These substances measure the concentration of metallic and nonmetallic compounds, including lead, cadmium, cyanide, and nitrate. Aside from toxicity, these compounds can also impact water quality. Heavy metals are also harmful to humans and can cause cancer in the liver, kidneys, and blood.
You should also consider testing for toxic organic substances, such as pesticides, insecticides, and detergents. These substances degrade water quality and pose a threat to human health. In addition, they can absorb harmful chemicals from the water and shield disinfection processes. Water can also become cloudy, and that is often caused by dissolved solids, silt, clay, and other suspended materials. Turbidity can also be caused by storms and urban runoff.
Water quality testing can also be performed by larger government agencies. In the US, the United States Environmental Protection Agency publishes Consumer Confidence Reports, which inform consumers about the quality of their drinking water. These reports can be obtained in many states. The report also includes information on the source of the water and detected contaminants.
Water quality testing can also be done by non-government organizations. These organizations sometimes test their own water or provide links to official water quality reports. The World Water Council and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization are two organizations that publish their own reports.
In addition to reporting on water quality, these organizations also help to spread awareness of water quality testing. They provide databases that allow you to access a variety of public reports, including water quality testing kits.