If you’ve moved into a new property, or you’ve been in your home for many years, one of the necessities you need is drinking water. We should all have access to safe drinking water. However, tap water can become contaminated, which can be dangerous for your health.
If you have any concerns and want your mind to be put at ease, here is a guide on how to check whether the water in your home is safe to drink.
Contact Your Water Company
Each year, your water company is ordered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to provide you with a consumer confidence report. This is a water quality report that outlines any containments that may be in your drinking water, as well as alert you to any health dangers that they pose. No matter what water agency you are with, they must provide this report to you by July 1st each year. If you haven’t received a report, make sure you speak to your local water supplier.
Check the EPA’s Website
The EPA’s website has various tools that you can use to check and monitor the condition of your drinking water, such as the Safe Drinking Water Information System that details any present breaches of EPA’s water guidelines. If you have any fears about your drinking water, it’s best to check out their website. If you use well water, the company has an in-depth guide for privately owned wells.
Test Your Water Yourself
If your water is emitting a strong smell, this is a major cause for concern that needs to be addressed immediately. If there is hydrogen sulfide or chlorine in drinking water, both chemicals could lead to serious health issues like dermatitis or stomach pain if there are large quantities found. While there is no threat in small amounts, it’s best to test your water yourself. There are water test kits that you can purchase, which will check whether your water contains high levels of lead. Even at low levels, lead is very dangerous, especially to infants and children. Lead has been associated with nervous system damage, impaired blood cell function, and learning disabilities.
Watch Out for Sediments
If you notice any sediments in your water like manganese or iron particles, your first reaction may be to panic. However, the presence of these sediments may not be a red flag. Make sure you speak with your local water company, who should provide treatment to stop sediments from entering your drinking water. High levels of sediments are linked with high levels of disease-causing microorganisms that can result in diarrhea, cramps, and nausea. If you believe there is a high volume of sediments in your drinking water, turn off your taps and seek help straight away.
Even if your tap water comes out looking clear, that’s not to say that it’s safe to drink. And when you factor in that the EPA recommends you not take drinking water for granted, there are many warning signs that will indicate that there is something wrong.