Many homes throughout the country rely on a well for clean, drinkable water appropriate for everything from taking showers to cooking. The most reliable way to test if this water is suitable for use is by sending it to a laboratory where it is tested by professionals. You can also purchase home testing kits. These are useful, but only to check the water between laboratory tests.
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Sending water to a lab for screening
This is commonly thought of as the most reliable way to inspect water for contaminants. The process is as follows:
- Locate a laboratory near your home. This level of testing will better find contaminants in the water in comparison to an at-home kit. If you’re having trouble finding a lab that offers well water testing, check the state’s wildlife and natural resources site.
- If you still can’t find a suitable lab, then call county officials. There are some counties across the country that will test water in exchange for a fee. They may even come to your home to collect the water.
- Decide which contaminants to test for. These include things like bacteria and nitrates. This decision will be based on where you live. Common inorganic compounds harmful to human health that are found in well water include copper, iron, zinc, lead, silver, chloride and fluoride. You should be testing for these roughly every two years.
- The lab will send you instructions on how to collect, label, seal and return the kit.
Routine at-home testing
Between lab tests, you can conduct at-home tests using kits, which are a good stop-gap measure between laboratory tests:
- Find a kit that is reputable and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These are available in home improvement stores and online.
- Ensure the kit tests for inorganic compounds like nitrates and bacteria. You may also want to test for pH levels.
- Read the instructions carefully. Most at-home kits include strips that, when dipped into sample water, will change color based on the pH level. This is a good way to test the acidity level of the well water.
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Categorised in: Irrigation