Are you spending a lot more time at home? Me, too!
Now that my closets are clean and organized, I am focused on the healthiness of our home environment, especially our tap water. After all, people in Flint, Michigan thought their water was pure. Most municipalities provide drinking water with unwanted trace elements below the legal limits, but the national standards have not been updated for twenty years – some are 40 years old. Here are some steps to evaluate the quality of your tap water.
The quality of the water coming out of your tap depends on the purity of the water coming into your home and the quality of the pipes inside your home that bring it to your tap.
Water quality in your town
The Environmental Working Group reports on the quality of drinking water in your town. You can search by your zip code and see the contaminant levels testers found in your water. The EWG also gives suggestions on how you can filter out the unwanted elements. Environmental Working Group’s Tap Water Database, search by zip code.
Water quality in your home
First, take a look at the pipes in your home that you can see – under sinks, in the basement or attic and anywhere else you can find. Visible corrosion on the outside of pipes and at joints can signal build-up, blockage and corrosion on the inside.
Test – Get your ‘Tap Score’
Simplewater Labs 0ffers this comprehensive home water test which requires you to gather samples and send them away. They test your sample for more than 100 compounds, including metals such as lead, mercury, and arsenic; volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like chloroform; bacteria; and industrial and agricultural compounds like pesticides and nitrates. The Wirecutter says, “Tap Score not only tells you, in plain language, exactly which compounds are in your water (and the amount) but also explains their potential health risks and suggests ways of addressing any concerns. Tap Score also offers unmatched online support. You can chat with a representative, and if your questions go beyond their knowledge, the questions are passed on to experts, who follow up with a detailed email.”
This Safe Home test kit looks for 200 possible contaminants at an EPA certified lab. It has the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. You take test samples with materials provided in the kit and send them in to the lab. Results are emailed to you on 7-10 days. Safe Home ULTIMATE Drinking Water Test Kit. $349
If you want a simpler, faster, less expensive home water test; Health Metric offers this Kit for Home Tap and Well Water. It uses test strips for lead, bacteria, pH, copper nitrate, chlorine, hardness and more. This test is made in the US to EPA Approved standards. Town water quality can vary by season, especially when reservoirs are the water source. This is an easy way to test water more frequently than the mail-in comprehensive test.
You use put water what is ‘put water’ or did you not mean to include the work ‘use’? on test strips and compare the resulting color to a chart which shows contaminants. The kit includes:
- 1 x Lead test
- 1 x Coliform bacteria test
- 1 x Copper test
- 2 x Nitrate & nitrite test
- 2 x 3-way test (pH, alkalinity, hardness
- 2 x total chlorine test
With this kit you can test your tap water for heavy metals – lead, iron, copper and mercury using test strips. Accurate to EPA standards. Heavy Metals Home Water Test. $23.93
This home drinking water testing kit is recommended specifically to test for lead in your home drinking water. You will get results in ten minutes. You can also use it in rental homes or while traveling.
More ASE healthy water articles;