Tales from the Drain: Is Your Tap Water Really Safe to Drink?
You hear about stories of people who become sick after drinking from the tap in their house, and there are always warnings about the pollutants, bacteria, minerals, and other substances in your water. So how do you know if you water is ok to drink? It's not as hard as you think.
Get a Report
Checking in with your water company for a consumer confidence report is the first step to knowing if your water is safe. Your water company is required by law to provide you with this report. This report will show any pollutants that have come into contact with your water supply over the past year. Knights Plumbing & Drain also recommend looking at your pipes to make sure they aren’t old or rusting which might give off a strange taste.
The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, has 18 states participating in their Drinking Water Watch program. This program links to a database of information regarding water quality violation, hazards, and any actions taken by the state to clean up these issues.
If you live in a state that participates in this program(Indiana, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and others), all you have to do is enter the name of your county or your public water system number, and you will receive a report of the quality test results. If you received a data report, you can then look up any or all the contaminants listed within the EPA's chemical database. Please, be aware that the data does differ depending on the state of which it was pulled.
When you're water supply comes from a private well, you can still look up your well in a state guide, but it becomes a little more cumbersome. If you can't find what you are looking for in the state guide, then you can contact the state government directly to resolve your issues. Often times the state government has more up-to-date information.
In many cases, there is no way to be absolutely sure your water is safe to drink besides testing it yourself. To do this, call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline to connect you with your local water testing agency. The Water Quality Association can also help you connect with a testing agency. Once connected simply schedule a time they can come to help test your home’s water sources.
Using these steps will help you determine if your drinking water is safe to consume, and will help you keep up to date with issues that have happened recently with your water supply.