Why You Should Get Your Water Tested in Virginia
In America, we take clean, healthy water for granted. Civilizations throughout history have racked their brains securing and optimizing the delivery of this vital resource. Yet, every faucet in your house that drinkable water comes out of is a modern marvel that puts the Roman viaducts to shame.
With so much clean water part of our everyday life, we can sometimes forget that there are many things that could go wrong with our water. A pipe could become stressed and rupture. Chemicals could enter the water supply in unexpected places. Neglected plumbing from an older generation of safety standards could leach lead into your drinking water.
That’s where water testing comes into play.
Certified water testing laboratories like Lead Lab are an integral chain link in the defense of safe water. We test for contaminants like lead and copper through our Richmond, Virginia laboratories and work closely with our sister lab, National Testing Laboratories, for all other contaminants.
Why Would You Need to Test Your Water?
There are many reasons why you should guarantee that your water is safe. In just about any circumstance where you have a reason to doubt your water’s quality, it’s better to test to find out.
Here are some common instances in which you should consider testing your water:
- Buying or selling a house
- Uniquely sensitive residents
- School buildings
- Any changes to your well water system
- Something’s not right
Buying or Selling a House
If you’re looking to buy a house, you want to buy a house that is safe. The water that comes out of the faucet is certainly part of that equation. The home inspection process is the part in the real estate transaction that uncovers aspects of the house that could be unsafe or expensive to fix. In Virginia, however, home inspections are not required to perform water testing, although many tell you about features of the house, like galvanized piping, that could put you at an increased risk for lead contamination.
It’s also important for sellers to consider their role in putting potential buyers at ease. If you are interested in putting your house on the market, it may be a good touch to add lab results to your listing. It can show that you care about the quality of home you’re selling.
Uniquely Sensitive Residents
If you’ve lived in your house for a while and have never had any issues with the water, there are some circumstances when you may want to consider testing your water anyways. When you have a pregnant mother, newborn or an immunocompromised guest in your house, the quality of your water can be very important.
Coliform bacteria can give you an upset stomach and flu-like symptoms that may not be a problem for an otherwise healthy adult. However, for some people, having a mild sickness could pose a much higher risk. In these cases, this increased risk doesn’t mean that there will definitely be a problem but it may be unsafe to chance it.
Speaking of increased risk, school buildings pose just such an increased risk to the pupils who spend many hours each day walking their halls. Because they spend so much time at school throughout the school year, any contaminants in the water would be a larger problem for a larger group of people than a single home would. If you compound this with how often school buildings are older and in need of renovation, it makes for many problems waiting to happen. If you play any role in influencing how often your local school should test its drinking water, be sure to encourage frequent testing.
Any Changes to Your Well Water System
If you get your water from a local city or town, there are many safety measures that stand guard in between the water’s source and your house. On the other hand, if you have well on your property, maintaining its safety falls squarely on your shoulders. If you recently decided to switch to a well water system, you probably already know that you should test your water. But did you know that it is also a good idea to test your water after any significant changes to your well water system? If you replace or repair any part of your well system, you could be at risk for new contaminants that weren’t there when you first installed the well. There can also be increased risk when there has been flooding or land disturbances like major construction near your well.
Note: Even if there are no changes to your well system, you should test your well water once every 5 years. This is a good frequency if you don’t have any reason to suspect your water.
Something’s Not Right
Water discoloration, smelly water, guests getting sick frequently–these are all reasons to suspect that something’s not right with your water. While many of the reasons that you should get your water tested could be based on your circumstances, you don’t always need a specific reason why. All plumbing systems pose some risk for failure. Sometimes those failures aren’t discovered until many people get very sick. You can play your part in reducing risk if you test whenever you have reason to suspect something is not right.
Why Use a Professional Water Testing Service?
With all of the above times when you should test your water, you may wonder how. Internet articles may push you in the direction of low-cost lead testing kits you can get off of Amazon. Do-it-yourself lead testing kits can be a good place to start but they might not tell the full story.
However, there may be times when the DIY route is not what you’re looking for. If you can tell there’s something wrong with your water and you buy a testing kit that says that everything’s fine, what would you do? Would you suspect that the kit is faulty and buy a new one? That could get expensive. Or do you conclude that the water’s fine, only to spend everyday just a little worried that the test was wrong. Not all water problems are risks of lead poisoning, but there are many other chemicals and bacteria that need testing for. For those, you’ll need a professional water testing lab.
Environmental Hazards Services (EHS) provides accurate and reliable laboratory testing that can check your water for harmful contaminants. Why worry when you can test and make sure your water is safe.