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How Can Water Tests Identify Contaminants?

Safe water is crucial to your health and well-being because you use water for almost everything. But can you rely on only the taste, color, and odor of your water to ensure it’s safe? Here are a few ways water tests can identify  contaminants that are lurking undetected in your water.

Bacteria

Bacteria present in home drinking water can be divided into two categories, disease-causing bacteria and nuisance bacteria. Disease-causing bacteria can include E. Coli, which causes cramps, fever, and diarrhea, and Legionella, which causes a form of pneumonia.water-tests-identify-contaminants

Nuisance bacteria is a greater danger to your well than to your own health. These bacteria can damage your well by introducing iron and sulfur into the water and forming a biofilm on the surfaces of your well. Water tests identify contaminants, like these bacteria, to help you start working to solve the problem.

Metals

water-tests-identify-contaminantsWater tests also identify metal contaminants that have found their way into your water. Iron causes yellow and orange discoloration of water-related appliances and laundry. It can also give your drinking water an unpleasant metallic taste. The presence of iron in your water can also pose a danger to the operation of water softeners, pipes, and water heaters.


Manganese is another metal that will discolor your appliances and laundry with a black or purple stain. In very high concentrations, manganese poses a health risk.

Another metal a water test will look for is lead. It’s well known that lead is harmful to human health. In fact, there is no safe level of lead exposure. Many older homes run the risk of lead exposure as lead was used to make pipes prior to the 1930’s. A water test can identify whether or not you have lead in your water so you can start working to remove it.

Salt and Sulfur

Water tests identify contaminants like salt and sulfur particles. Salt causes your water to become hard, which causes limescale buildup and shortens the life of water using appliances. Hard water can also strip moisture from your hair and skin, causing itchiness and dryness. Sulfur is additionally unpleasant as it gives your water a foul rotten egg smell.

If you’re concerned about the quality of your water, you can check the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website for annual water quality reports. You can also call you water company and request its Consumer Confidence Report. Any water line serving 25 or more people must be tested regularly and water-tests-identify-contaminantscomply with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

If you have well water or are worried that something in your home system is introducing contaminants to your water, you can test your water for contaminants by  calling Brenneco for a free water test! Once we’ve identified exactly what is in your water, our highly skilled plumbers will work with you to develop a plan of action to eliminate contaminants and provide you and your family with the best possible drinking water.


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Brenneco Plumbing is a plumbing contractor serving Lafayette, Indiana and the surrounding area. We specialize in all residential, commercial and service plumbing needs. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Facebook.