If you are on a public water system such as those in municipal areas, you have the confidence of knowing that water testing is frequent, thorough, and highly regulated.
The same regulations that apply to these public systems, however those regulations do NOT apply to individual systems – such as privately owned wells. It’s entirely up to you to ensure the safety of your well water for yourself and your family by regularly testing your water.
Why Should I Test Regularly?
If you get a clear water test, you should be pleased! It’s great to see the test results show negative for bacterial contaminants in your water. But unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t KEEP performing water testing on a regular basis. Water quality is NOT a static thing, and is actually changing constantly throughout the year. Spring runoff can wreak havoc on water quality, and other events such as heavy rains, flooding events, or other issues can introduce potentially dangerous microbes into a previously uncontaminated water supply.
Just because your water may LOOK clean and clear, doesn’t mean that it IS clean. Many dangerous microbial contaminants are microscopic, and don’t cause changes to the color, smell, or taste of your water. But drinking water with these microbes can make you sick. This is even more dangerous if the people drinking the water are very small children, the elderly, or those with compromised immune systems.
The Importance of Water Testing
Water testing can show any other issues that may be present in your well, such as high amounts of different types of minerals (that can create water hardness), chemical infiltration, or other potential issues that should be corrected with water treatment.
Test Your Water at Least Once a Year
Performing water testing at least once a year gives you the best chance to be pro-active and protect your family.
- For potable (drinking) water testing labs in your area of New York State, visit: http://www.wadsworth.org/labcert/elap/elap.html
- For some help in understanding the results of your water test, the Ohio State University’s Watershed Network has a great tool online.