How tap water is tested for contamination is important because you really do need to know what’s in your water. You will find out in this article several methods how tap water is tested for contamination and what has shown up after tests have been taken in various cities around the country. We’ll start with the simplest testing methods and then work our way up.
1) The very simplest method of testing water is by smell and taste. Try this, get a glass of water from your tap and cover it for a few minutes. Take the cover off and smell it, and then taste it. If you get a faint or sometimes an even stronger disinfectant smell (like bleach you can be sure that chlorine is present in your water. Even if you are lucky enough not to be able to smell or taste it, chlorine is in you water. While trace amounts of chlorine may not harm you right away, the long term exposure to chlorine and its by products such as chloroform increases the risk of some forms of cancer.
A quote from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Senior Research Team said “We are quite convinced, based on this study, that there is an association between cancer and chlorinated water.”
2) Another method of testing your tap water for contamination is to purchase a home testing kit. For about $6 you can buy a kit that will allow you to test for contaminants such as chlorine and the hardness of your water. Hard water is mainly caused from the build up of calcium and magnesium. It is possible that the buildup of calcium and magnesium can cause damage to the water heater and plumbing in your home.
3) Depending on how much you want to spend you can purchase test kits that test for contaminants such as E. Coli (a main source of water borne disease), bacteria, lead, chlorine, nitrates, nitrites, water hardness, and the pH level of your water. You can by kits that test for each individual contaminant listed or a kit that test for all of them. If you should happen to use well water there are testing kits for that also.
4) If you don’t want to spend any money you can do a Google search for “local drinking water information” without the quotes, and find information about the quality of the drinking water in your location.
5) How is tap water tested for contamination by the government is a common question that comes up. They test in a similar manner as the test kits mentioned above but a little more extensive than a home test kit. The problem is it is so costly to test every water supply that to do so would be more expensive than police, fire and city services for many small towns.
It’s important to that contaminated water may not taste bad or even smell bad. One thing is for certain thousands of people each year come down with bacterial illnesses traced back to contaminated water. A mild case may cause diarrhea, cramps, vomiting, or other stomach problems. Some cases of bacterial illness from contaminated water are fatal.
Important Points –
Extensive studies have been performed by many well known authorities such as consumer advocates Ralph Nader on the pubic water supply. The results of the test show trace amounts of over 2,000 different chemicals all of them toxic in the public water system across the country.
If you are concerned and want to be certain test the water for your self. If you want to be safe consider the purchase of a high quality water filter that uses a combination of carbon filtration, ion exchange and sub micron filtration. This is the best type of water filter on the market. They are not very expensive if you buy DIRECT FROM THE MANUFACTURER and well worth the money you invest in one.